LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (Border Report) – The unofficial vote count in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District race favors the Democratic challenger by more than 1,000 ballots. However, Gabe Vasquez early Wednesday abstained from claiming victory.

“This race remains very close and we are closely monitoring the counting of all remaining ballots. We look forward to updated results from the Secretary of State,” a spokesman for Vasquez’s campaign told Border Report on Wednesday morning.

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s website shows Vasquez with 96,253 votes (50.27 percent) to U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico, 95,238 (49.73 percent) with all 650 precincts reporting. However, some ballots from Valencia, Otero and Eddy counties, among others, apparently were still being counted.

If Vasquez manages to flip the GOP district, the entire New Mexico congressional delegation would be Democratic next year.

Negative ads characterized this race. GOP-leaning political action committees painted Vasquez, a former Las Cruces city council member, as a radical who would defund the police and destroy the state’s oil and natural gas industry. Progressive PACs countered with ads accusing Herrell of being sympathetic to right-wing extremists.

Herrell during the campaign stressed how state residents, especially working-class New Mexicans, have been hard hit by inflation and high gas prices. She also called for an end to the Biden administration’s immigration policies she often refers to as “open borders.”

Vasquez campaigned for immigration reform, reproductive rights and clean energy.

“New Mexicans turned out in great numbers today to make their voices heard and participate in our democracy,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. 

All election results remain unofficial until the canvassing process is complete and the State Board of Canvass certifies the official results.