Democrats lead fundraising for open U.S. House seats in New Mexico

By Albuquerque Journal

Democrat Xochitl Torres Small raised more than three times as much this quarter as her Republican opponent, Yvette Herrell — propelled by Democratic enthusiasm for flipping control of the U.S. House.

Torres Small, a Las Cruces water lawyer, and Herrell, a state representative from Alamogordo, are competing for the open congressional seat that covers the southern half of New Mexico.

Republicans have held the 2nd Congressional District for all but two years since 1980. The seat is open because Republican Steve Pearce is running for governor rather than seeking re-election to the House.

Torres Small said her $1.9 million haul in contributions over the last quarter is a record for a New Mexico congressional candidate. She has about $1.1 million in cash on hand heading into the final weeks of the campaign.

Herrell, meanwhile, raised about $564,000 this quarter, and she has about $419,000 in cash on hand.

Democrats have eyed the district as a potential pickup opportunity for years. The 2nd Congressional District covers liberal-leaning Las Cruces and the conservative oil patch of southeastern New Mexico.

In 2016, Republican Donald Trump won the district by 10 percentage points. A Journal Poll from mid-September showed Herrell with a 7-point lead among proven, likely voters.

But Democrats’ enthusiasm and historical trends — the president’s party tends to lose seats at midterm elections — have helped put the 2nd Congressional District into play. The Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight.com rate the district as a “toss-up.”

In the race for New Mexico’s other open seat, Democrat Deb Haaland maintained a substantial financial advantage over her Republican and Libertarian opponents, according to reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

Haaland reported raising about $605,000 this quarter, with about $417,000 in cash on hand, in her bid to keep the 1st Congressional District in Democratic hands. Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham, like Pearce, is running for governor.

The district covers much of Albuquerque and central New Mexico.

Republican Janice Arnold-Jones reported about $138,000 in contributions this quarter, and she has about $44,000 in her account. Libertarian Lloyd Princeton reported $6,000 in contributions, with less than $800 left in his account.

This article provided by NewsEdge.