N.M. maintains balance of House power

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — One face changed Tuesday, but the political balance remains the same after New Mexico voters made their three picks on whom to elect to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the Albuquerque-centered First Congressional District race, Democrat Michelle Luj n Grisham came out the victor.

She won 59 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns, and beat Republican opponent Janice Arnold-Jones to fill the House Rep. Martin Heinrich vacated for his successful run for the Senate.

Lujan Grisham spent much of the night dancing and celebrating.

She says while in Congress she will work to get on the Armed Services Committee with oversight over military bases and labs here in New Mexico but also focus on homeowners.

"One of the highlights for me is going to be to do homeowner-protection legislation, much more consumer protection, to try and stall and stop many of these foreclosures and to give families a fighting chance," she said.

In the Second District Republican Rep. Steve Pearce held the seat he reoccupied two years ago defeating Democratic challenger Evelyn Madrid Erhard of Las Cruces.

Pearce is an oil businessman from Hobbs while Erhard is a New Mexico State University professor. Pearce won with 59-percent of the vote.

He previously served three terms in Congress before an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate.

In northern New Mexico's Third District incumbent Democrat Rep. Ben Ray Luj n easily held off a challenge from Republican Jefferson Byrd, a rancher from Tucumcari.

Lujan, a former Public Regulation Commission member, has held the seat for two terms. Lujan beat Byrd 63 percent to 37 percent.

No Republican has won the seat since the district was created in 1982.

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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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