First-term Rep. Xochitl Torres Small won in a major upset in 2018 with 51% of the vote to capture a rural, conservative district that Trump had carried by ten points in 2016. The granddaughter of an immigrant from Mexico, she beat GOP state Rep. Yvette Herrell by 3,722 votes, and faces the same opponent this year.
She represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, the southern portion of the state and the largest non-at-large district in the entire country, and even larger than the entire state of Florida. The district includes Las Cruces and Roswell. Historically, this congressional seat has been held mostly by Republicans.
Torres Small’s career began in the office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall, retiring this year, as a field representative in southern New Mexico. She particularly focused on water issues, the lifeblood of southern part of the state. Inspired by her work on water, Torres Small went to law school at the University of New Mexico where she concentrated on water and natural resources law. She later worked as an attorney focused on water and natural resources issues.
In Congress, she serves as a key member of the House Armed Services Committee. Last year, she supported Chairman Adam Smith’s amendment to terminate funding for a new low-yield nuclear weapon for submarines. This year she voted to prevent a resumption of nuclear explosive testing and to block Trump administration military action against Iran without prior approval of Congress.
Her views on national security issues can be summarized: “We can ensure our defense without continuously escalating the consequences of war, and we can maintain global stability without endless wars.”