Vulnerable House Dem Loses Seat After Controversy Over Biden Energy Comments

Xochitl Torres Small / Getty Images
• November 3, 2020 7:10 pm


New Mexico Republican Yvette Herrell ousted Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D., N.M.) in a race defined by the Democratic Party's attacks on fossil fuels.

Herrell, a former member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, defeated Torres Small after championing the region's energy economy on the campaign trail. The Associated Press called the race early Wednesday morning.

Torres Small went to great lengths to distance herself from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's stance on fracking and her own past activism against the oil industry. She publicly repudiated the Democratic nominee in the closing days of the race for voicing opposition to federal oil and fossil fuel subsidies.

"I disagree with VP Biden's statement tonight. Energy is part of the backbone of New Mexico’s economy," she said. "I will continue to stand up to my party when they're out of touch with the reality on the ground in #NM02."

Torres Small narrowly won the seat in the Democrats' 2018 takeover of the House, beating Herrell by 2 points in a district President Trump won by 10 points in 2016.