EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Democrat Gabe Vasquez is declaring victory in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District race.
The announcement comes as Vasquez leads U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-NM, with 50.31 percent of the vote compared to 49.67 percent with all precincts reporting. The victory would be a setback for a GOP leadership that woke up Tuesday morning convinced it would decisively take control of the House of Representatives and as of Wednesday afternoon was failing to achieve that goal.
“I could not be more proud to be elected to Congress by my fellow New Mexicans. Whether you voted for me or not, I will fight my heart out for you, because public service is a sacred responsibility that I will never take for granted,” Vasquez said in a statement.
Border Report reached out to Herrell’s campaign team for comment on Vasquez’s claim. This was her response:
“While we are disappointed by the final results, I am incredibly proud of our team and the work we did serving our district, and I am grateful for the steadfast support of so many who helped us along the way. I would also like to congratulate Gabe Vasquez on his victory.”
Herrell won the seat two years ago from Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small. The Democratic-controlled state legislature redrew the district last year moving traditionally conservative enclaves in southeast New Mexico to another congressional district and added blue areas near Albuquerque.
“Two years ago, the Democrats in Santa Fe announced they would gerrymander our district to ensure they would totally control our state’s federal delegation,” Herrell said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they did jus that, ignoring the will of the people in the process by splitting up communities of interest and concentrating power in urban areas as the expense of rural New Mexico voices.”
Herrell warned Democrats that the GOP will not give up on a district that has favored Republicans more often than not in the past few decades.
“While this was enough to give them a victory by less than 1 percent in this election, I am confident in our party’s ability to retake this seat next cycle, as Joe Biden’s agenda continued to damage our great nation. Stay tuned!” Herrell said.
Vasquez, a former Las Cruces city council member, ran a progressive campaign stressing clean energy, reproductive rights, immigration reform and expanding health care.
GOP political action committees last month launched a series of attack ads painting the El Paso-born Democrat as a radical who would destroy oil and gas jobs and defund the police. Democratic PACs responded with commercials saying Herrell supported right-wing extremists.
In an interview last week, Vasquez told Border Report the GOP attacked him in response to independent polls showing he was about to flip NM-02 blue.
He also vowed to work with other members of Congress, regardless of political affiliation, to work on major issues such as the economy, infrastructure and immigration reform.
“I will work across the aisle to get comprehensive immigration reform that is fair and just for our communities,” he said.