KUNM

Pearce, Lujan And Lujan Grisham Re-Elected To Congress

Nov 9, 2016

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce extended his 12-year tenure in Congress with a victory in southern New Mexico's 2nd District.

He defeated Democrat Merrie Lee Souleson on Tuesday in the sprawling district that includes Las Cruces, a sliver of the border with Mexico and some of the state's most productive oil and gas wells.

Pearce has pledged to reduce the regulatory role of federal government in education, health care and land management.

The Vietnam War veteran and former owner of an oil-field services firm supported Donald Trump throughout the presidential campaign but described the GOP nominee's 2005 comments about grabbing women without their consent "horrid."

Soules highlighted her business acumen as a former executive at General Motors, support for renewable energy development and advocacy on economic fairness and consumer protection.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has won a fifth term representing northern New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.

He defeated Republican Michael Romero on Tuesday. Lujan campaigned on efforts to bolster the state economy, internet infrastructure projects and expansion of renewable energy.

Lujan has spearheaded efforts since 2014 to cut short Republican control of Congress as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. At the Democratic National Convention in July, he introduced a long cast of congressional candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Romero is a retired law enforcement officer and political newcomer who waged an uphill battle in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1. His campaign focused on shrinking federal government, seeking congressional term limits and a hard-line approach against terrorism groups.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been elected to a third term in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District.

Lujan Grisham defeated Republican Richard Priem on Tuesday in a district that covers most of Albuquerque.

Priem dropped out of public view after securing the Republican nomination. The Army veteran-turned-businessman initially emphasized his dedication to counterterrorism efforts.

Lujan Grisham focused her campaign on the lagging economy and behavioral health care in a state with the nation's second-highest unemployment rate, surging Medicaid enrollment and high rates of opioid-related deaths.

She has touted her efforts on the House budget committee to expand nutrition benefits for poor children. She's an outspoken supporter of the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship.