Democrats are keeping the New Mexico House seat that was vacated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in March, The Associated Press projects.
State Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D) won Tuesday’s special election, defeating Republican state Sen. Mark Moores to represent New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. With more than 70 percent of the vote in, Stansbury leads Moores by almost 30 points.
Stansbury went into the special election leading Moores in the polls, but Republicans were hoping they could flip the seat ahead of next year’s midterms. President Biden won New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District by 23 points in November, and Haaland — who vacated the seat after becoming the first Native American to lead the Department of the Interior — won her re-election by more than 16 points.
In her victory speech Tuesday night, Stansbury told supporters “this moment is not just about standing up, but about leaning into the moment and bringing fundamental change to our politics and to our country. You made it possible for us to win this race and hold this seat … because of the importance to this race for delivering President Joe Biden’s agenda.”