Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández defeated Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson in New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.
The 3rd District covers large swaths of southeast New Mexico, including more conservative parts of the state.
Redistricting had given Republicans more of an edge in the traditionally Democratic seat.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández won her bid for a second term in office against Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson in New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.
Polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. local time, or 9 p.m. EST.
New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District candidates
Leger Fernández serves on the House Committees on Natural Resources and Education and the Workforce. She also chairs the Committee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, in which she works on a range of issues for Native communities, including economic development, health, cultural preservation, and education.
She owns Leger Law & Strategy, and prior to working in Congress, she worked as a public interest lawyer in New Mexico. Leger Fernández was also a Clinton and Obama presidential appointee and served as vice chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Martinez Johnson, who ran against Leger Fernández, is an environmental engineer who's worked with energy companies on the eastern side of the state. She told the Albuquerque Journal that she did not believe former President Donald Trump's claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election and that she would "support the constituents of New Mexico" on abortion.
Voting history for New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District
New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District covers large swaths of southeast New Mexico.
Joe Biden had a more than 17-percentage-point margin of victory over Trump under the district's previous boundaries in 2020 before the once-in-a-decade redistricting process following the 2020 Census. Redistricting reconfigured the district to stretch farther into southeast New Mexico to Clovis and Portales, two traditionally more conservative parts of the state, giving Republicans a slight edge in the traditionally Democratic district.
The district has traditionally skewed Democratic. Since its formation about 40 years ago, only one Republican, former Rep. Bill Redmond of Los Alamos, has held the seat.
The money race
According to OpenSecrets, Leger Fernández raised almost $2.9 million, spent more than $2.4 million, and had $614,000 cash on hand as of October 19. Her challenger, Martinez Johnson, raised about $257,000, spent $222,000, and had $35,000 still left to spend as of October 19.
Super PACs, national party committees, and other non-candidate groups had combined to spend about $430,000 to advocate for or against the candidates — a relatively modest amount for competitive US House races — as of November 3. House Majority PAC, a hybrid PAC run by Democrats that backed Leger Fernández, alone accounted for more than one-third of that spending.
What experts said
The race between Leger Fernández and Martinez Johnson was rated as "likely Democratic" by The Cook Political Report, and "likely Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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