Stansbury, a scientist who served in the New Mexico State House since 2019, defeated Republican State Sen. Mark Moores. His victory for the seat, which had been vacant since March, would give the narrow Democratic majority in the US House a little more breathing room.
While the election does not change the balance of power in the US House, it brings the Democrats’ narrow majority to 220-211, with four seats vacant.
State Democratic Party President Jessica Velasquez said in a statement late Tuesday that “Democrats sent a clear message during this election that when we choose leaders who truly represent our values, we can’t do anything lightly.” I don’t take it.”
She said: “We know the importance of electing a strong Democrat like Melanie Stansbury, and we will continue to build on that momentum as we look to 2022.”
First Lady Jill Biden visited New Mexico last month, and the White House sent second gentleman Doug Emhoff to the state last weekend to campaign for Stansbury.
Campaigning with Stansbury, Emhoff said, “We need more women in government, we need more women in business and we need more men.”
The election also served as a preliminary test to see whether Republicans’ strategy to include Democratic candidates in their party’s most progressive police reform proposals would help the GOP regain control of the House in the midterms of next year. .
In advertisements and debates, Moores attempted to link Stansbury to the Breathe Act, a proposal drawn up by Black Lives Matter activists that would reduce spending on police and defense and instead provide grants to poor communities.
National Democrats hoped the race would demonstrate that their voters are engaged after Democrats’ surprise close for the Texas congressional seat in early May, with Republicans finishing in the top two spots.
Stansbury served on environmental and community issues in the Obama administration and for the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
This story has been updated with additional details.