Democrat Gabe Vasquez is projected to defeat Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, denying her a second term and adding to GOP woes this midterm cycle.
During the redistricting process, Democrats in New Mexico drew new lines for the southern border district that made the once reliably Republican seat more competitive. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report listed the race as a “toss up” going into Election Day.
The Republican was leading the New Mexico race in polls just ahead of Tuesday, but Vazquez eked out a win. The Associated Press called the race Thursday morning.
Herrell’s loss adds to the handful of Republican incumbents to be defeated during this year’s midterms, which were expected to be a red wave election with many toss-up races breaking in Republicans’ favor. In 2020, no sitting GOP lawmakers lost their reelection bids.
Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot (R) was the first incumbent to lose on Tuesday, conceding to Democrat Greg Landsman. While that race had also been listed as a “toss up,” Chabot’s decades-long tenure in the House made it especially notable.
In Texas’s 34th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez defeated GOP Rep. Mayra Flores in a member-on-member election. Flores had been in Congress only a few months after winning a special election this summer.
Vazquez’s race was a priority for Democrats looking to shift the longtime GOP-led district, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee including Vazquez in its “Red to Blue” program.