Understanding the Race for NM’s 2nd Congressional District | KOB 4

Understanding the Race for NM’s 2nd Congressional District

Chris Ramirez
Updated: May 28, 2020 06:32 PM
Created: May 28, 2020 04:46 PM

Quick Glance: New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District makes up most of southern New Mexico.  There are three Republican primary candidates.  They are Claire Chase, a gas and oil executive from Artesia; Yvette Herrell, a former state legislator from Alamogordo; and Chris Mathys, a businessman from Las Cruces. The winner of that primary race will face off against Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small who this seat in 2018.

Candidate Strategies:  Claire Chase is hoping to appeal to Republican voters with her gas and oil experience and she continues trying to prove her loyalty to President Donald Trump after television ads have called her support into question.

“President Trump is tremendously popular among our primary voters in the 2nd Congressional District and I believe what he is doing for the district is good for us,” Chase said.  “He's made border security an issue, obviously the economy right now is a huge issue.  He's been very good on Second Amendment rights and very good on pro-life issues.”

Yvette Herrell is using her experience as a state legislator to appeal to voters and touts her many endorsements to appeal to Republican voters.

“I love and I'm humbled that Congressman Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Mike Huckabee, the NRA, Susan B Anthony Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Right Women, Cowboys for Trump and many of my colleagues on the state level, including 11 of our constitutional sheriffs have all come out and endorsed me,” Herrell said.

Chris Mathys has focused most of his attention on border security, hoping that issue resonates with Republican voters.

“What I resent is that we are still allowing people to come to America with not the intent to work and not the intent to come here legally and take advantage of our system,” Mathys said.  “We can't allow that.  We have needs in America and we need to put our citizens first.”

Outside Influences: This Republican primary race has attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars from outside interest groups.  For example, PAC finance reporting reveal The Patriot Majority PAC spent nearly $250,000 on television ads working against Claire Chase.  What many voters may not realize is that Patriot Majority PAC is actually a liberal PAC.  Democrats believe incumbent Rep. Xochitl Torres Small can more easily defeat Yvette Herrell in the November General Election, so this PAC is working against Chase so that Herrell becomes the republican challenger.  

The Incumbent: Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is watching how all of this is playing out.  She continues to cast herself as a moderate who has worked with both parties for the good of New Mexico.

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