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Teresa Leger Fernandez and Ricky Hurtado made history in New Mexico and North Carolina. Photo: UNC/Twitter
Teresa Leger Fernandez and Ricky Hurtado made history in New Mexico and North Carolina. Photo: UNC/Twitter

Teresa Leger Fernandez and Ricky Hurtado make history in New Mexico and North Carolina

Both candidates made history in their respective races while making strides for representation.

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Latinx candidates across the nation ran hard-fought battles. While incumbents Xochitl Torres Small and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell lost their second-term bids in Congress, other bids ended in victory.

And a couple made history. 

Ricky Hurtado did so in the North Carolina House, while Teresa Leger Fernandez made history in her New Mexico District. 

Teresa Leger Fernandez

Fernandez has just become the next representative of New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, becoming the first Latina to ever hold the seat.  

She will become the first woman to hold the 3rd District seat since its creation in 1983, where Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1 in the district, which overlaps parts of the Navajo Nation and other Indigenous communities.

“The people of New Mexico have chosen to protect what we love — our democracy, our planet, our families and communities, our health care and our future,” Fernandez wrote in response to her overwhelming lead. “With this victory, I promise you I will take the courageous action that this historic moment demands. Muchísimas gracias!”

She got encouragement from future colleagues in the Hispanic Caucus.

“In Congress, we know this proud daughter of Northern New Mexico will fight to ensure Washington delivers for New Mexico’s hardworking families and we can’t wait to stand alongside her in that fight,” wrote CHC BOLD PAC Chairman, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), on Fernandez’s win.

Hers, along with Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s win to represent New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, further solidify the Democratic hold over New Mexico.

Ricky Hurtado

Democrat Ricky Hurtado prevailed against Republican incumbent Rep. Stephen Ross in Alamance County’s N.C. House District 63 race 50.5% to 49.5%. The vote totals were 20,264 for Hurtado to 19,869 for Ross.

“I am deeply humbled by tonight’s results,” Hurtado wrote on Twitter. “I look forward to representing the 63rd House District in Raleigh. Alamance County has spoken—it is time to chart a new path forward for our community.” 
 

Hurtado is now the first-ever Latino elected to the North Carolina House.

A mobilizing force, Hurtado launched his campaign during a year of record-mobility and outreach in regards to the Latinx voting bloc.

While North Carolina is only 4.4 Latinx, his ascension into its House is a win for Latinx representation, no matter the partisan lines. With those demographic levels, his win is big for Mexican-Americans who find themselves underrepresented in the country’s political landscapes. 

 

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