The winning continues. Late last night, it became clear that Democrat Melanie Stansbury beat Republican Mark Moores in a special House election for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. In normal times, such news might not be a big deal, especially since the same party is staying in power. However, Stansbury’s win is particularly significant and invigorating.
As the New York Times put it, “Special elections in the first year after a president is newly elected can often carry grim tidings for the party in control of the White House.” This is true, and it’s also why both the outcome and the commanding margin of yesterday’s election should warm the hearts and calm the nerves of the most fervent fatalists among us.
Stansbury didn’t just beat Moores — she sent him hurtling toward oblivion. Rather than eking out a victory in a time when Republicans are supposed to gain ground, Stansbury earned roughly 60 percent of the vote, compared to Moores’ 36 percent. This is an inspiring landslide that should remind us all that we can win even when we’re told that’s not supposed to happen right now.
National Republicans were the real fatalists here, doing little to help Moores in his effort to flip the seat in their favor. Without strong GOP support, Moores attempted to torpedo Stansbury with the old law-and-order routine, but she parried it right back at him. After Moores attacked Stansbury for backing a Congressional bill about police funding, Stansbury aired a commercial in which a retired sheriff’s deputy praised her for supporting law enforcement in Albuquerque.
Stansbury’s victory means her House seat will remain Democratic, as it has since 2009, following Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s resignation to become the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. The Democratic House majority now climbs to nine seats, moving forward in a time when the media expects the left to stumble. Let the winning continue!