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Xochitl Torres Small overtakes the lead in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District

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Xochitl Torres Small will represent the 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives

Xochitl Torres Small will represent the 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives

Cassidy Kuester

Cassidy Kuester

Xochitl Torres Small will represent the 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives

Xochitl Torres Small has been declared the winner of the 2nd Congressional House race in a stunning upset over Republican challenger Yvette Herrell, who had previously been the assumed victor.

The district is comprised of counties such as Otero, Cibola, Lea and Dona Ana County. Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce, previously held the position for 13 years.

The change comes after the Dona Ana County Clerk’s office announced a break in counting ballots overnight. Approximately 8,000 absentee ballots still had to be counted in the aftermath of the midterm election on November 6.

Just hours after Yvette Herrell was presumed the winner by most media outlets and had even given her victory speech, the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office announced that thousands of ballots still needed counting. Torres Small then refused to concede, stating that she believed every New Mexican’s voice and vote should be heard before doing so.

The race remained up in the air into Wednesday night until the votes had added up in Torres Small’s favor. The Representative elect came from behind to win the vote 50.7 percent  to Herrell’s 49.3 percent, according to numbers from NMPolitics.net. A total of 196,146 ballots were cast in the district race with Torres Small claiming nearly 100,000 of those votes.

A full 24 hours after the polls closed, the absentee ballots were tallied. A majority of the ballots came from Dona Ana County, which favored Torres Small by a staggering 78 percent. In the end Torres Small lead Herrell by 2,724 votes.

“The people in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District have been heard,” Torres Small said in a speech given Wednesday evening. “And I am so honored to represent this incredible district, this enormous district, this district with people from all walks of life who have shown up in this moment.”

She became emotional during her speech while thanking the people who worked and volunteered with her campaign for many months to energize others in the area.

“And most importantly to the people of this amazing place, to the people who believe we can work together and forage a new future, because the real work starts now,” Torres Small said.

Torres Small will be the first Democratic Latinx woman to represent the southern district of New Mexico, a position that has historically leaned towards Republicans. Torres Small is also making history in that she will be the first woman ever to represent the 2nd district.

ASNMSU Student Body President, Emerson Morrow said, “Xochitl Torres Small is a fantastic person and I’m excited to have her as our next congresswoman.” Morrow continued, “I am confident she will be a strong voice, not only for New Mexicans, but for all Americans as she represents us in Congress.”

Overall, Democratic candidates swept many of their Republican challengers in the midterm election in New Mexico, signaling a monumental shift in the state.

Torres Small will be joining Debra Haaland and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in the House of Representatives to speak nationally for New Mexicans. She will assume office Jan. 3, 2019.

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About the Writers
Cassidy Kuester, Director of Multimedia

Cassidy Kuester enters her second year at the Round Up and her first as the Multimedia Editor. In her first year, Cassidy reported on a plethora of subjects from campus life to sports all the while taking her own photos. Cassidy had the opportunity to report on high profile stories such as Jeff Sessions visit to Las Cruces and an investigative piece on Halliburton’s involvement with NMSU. Cassidy also prided herself on the photo galleries she created for spring sports and for campus events.

Cassidy is a Sophomore at New Mexico State double majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications with a focus in photojournalism and in Government. Born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Cassidy found her passion in photography while taking classes at Mayfield High School and became the photo editor of her yearbook. Cassidy hopes to travel the world and document real life events and struggles. She envisions an illustrious career working for established publications that have the power to mold public opinion and hopes that her photos can contribute to those conversations.

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Leah Romero, Feature Writer

Leah Romero is a third year college student at NMSU pursuing a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor degree in Music. She was born and raised in Las Cruces and graduated from Centennial High School in 2016.

She joined the Round Up halfway through the 2018 spring semester as a staff writer. This will be her first full year on the staff as a feature writer. Her experience also includes working with the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office for a summer where her coverage included multiple Change of Command ceremonies and a Nobel Peace Prize commissioned photographer’s visit to Trinity Site. Her work has been featured in the White Sands Missile Ranger and both the Las Cruces Sun-News and Las Cruces Bulletin.

Outside the Round Up, Leah holds leadership roles with the NMSU College Democrats and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She enjoys playing the flute in campus ensembles and also baking and rollerblading in her free time.

She is looking forward to another exciting year at NMSU and the Round Up. Her goals this year are to report on important stories impacting the university while also challenging herself to grow as a writer and reporter.

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Xochitl Torres Small overtakes the lead in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District