On Nov. 8, Democratic candidate Melanie Stansbury was reelected to serve in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, beating her opponent, Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes.
The 1st District serves the central area of New Mexico, including most of Bernalillo County, all of Torrance County, parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties, and most of Albuquerque. This makes it the largest congressional district in New Mexico.
At the New Mexican Democratic watch party at The Clyde Hotel, Stansbury celebrated her win and gave a speech for her supporters and fellow Democrats.
During her speech after the race was called, Stansbury talked about various issues she’s determined to focus on as mentioned previously throughout her campaign. These issues include growing the economy, providing jobs, investing in better healthcare, protecting reproductive rights, improving public safety and ensuring free college for all New Mexicans.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District for honoring and entrusting me with the incredible honor to be able to serve our communities as a native New Mexican and somebody who spent my whole life working on issues to help our communities,” Stansbury said.
Post winning the race, Stansbury said in an interview with the Daily Lobo she and her team are headed to D.C. next week to “finish out this session.” Stansbury will come back to New Mexico in January and criss-cross through the district to ensure everyone is being heard, in light of the district lines changing.
“(We) make sure that constituent work gets transferred from the old district to the new district and that everyone in our communities knows that we're here to help. So we're gonna be out there, we're gonna be talking to people and we're going to be there,” Stansbury said.
While she has multiple projects she wants to work on, Stansbury said she’s prioritizing several issues. These include addressing homelessness and food insecurity across the district. Her campaign secured $18 million in the budget for the issue but are waiting for that budget to be passed, according to Stansbury. Another priority is to continue fighting for funding for a new school for the To’Hajiilee, a noncontinuous section of the Navajo Nation.
“Those are my three budgetary priorities, and then we have a slate of free water draft bills that we're trying to get through the Senate before the end of the year. So we'll be working on that,” Stansbury said.
Brandon Padilla, the digital director of communications of Stansbury’s campaign, said the team will continue fighting for reproductive rights, climate change and to make sure that they lower the cost of healthcare for all New Mexicans.
“I think the main message was that representative Stansbury and the Democrats on the ballot are the only pro science, pro democracy and pro choice ticket on the ballot,” Padilla said.
Just like Stansbury, Padilla emphasized on the hard work the campaign did together as a team that led them to their success in the race.
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“This campaign is a lot of people putting a lot of work of organizing, volunteers and a lot of people who are just constantly going putting in the work to make sure that we not only elect Stansbury, we elect Democrats,” Padilla said.
Annya Loya is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @annyaloya