ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Melanie Stansbury
was elected to Congress
for New Mexico
, filling a vacancy left by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland
Stanbury won a four-way race on Tuesday after campaigning in support of the Biden administration
's major initiatives, bolstering the Democratic
majority in Congress ahead of the 2022 midterm elections
Stansbury defeated third-term Republican
state Sen. Mark Moores
to fill a seat in Albuquerque held by Democrats
Her victory ensures that the state will retain an all-female House
Chris Manning, a Libertarian, and Aubrey Dunn Jr.
, an independent, ran unsuccessfully for the 1st Congressional District seat.
The 1st Congressional District includes Albuquerque, rural Torrance County, and other outlying areas, including Sandia Pueblo, an Indigenous community.
In recent years, voters
in the district have overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates, rejecting former President Donald Trump
by a margin of 23 percentage points in 2020 and reelecting Haaland by a margin of 16 percentage points as voter participation reached an all-time high.
Democrats held a 219-211 majority in Congress going into Tuesday's vote in New Mexico, one of a handful of races to fill vacancies in Congress ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Republican and Democratic politicians, including now-deceased Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr., former U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, have all used New Mexico's 1st Congressional District seat as a stepping stone to higher office.
As the home of Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories, the district relies heavily on federal military
Trump's 2020 campaign in Albuquerque fell flat after he dispatched federal agents to assist local law enforcement.
Last year, Republican Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in the state's sprawling 2nd Congressional District in southern New Mexico.