Incumbents Xochitl Torres Small and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell lose second-term bids in the House
The reps from New Mexico and Florida were both sworn in after victories in the 2018 midterms.
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House Democrats will lose two Latina members following results in two tightly-contested races in Florida and New Mexico.
Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Xochitl Torres Small both lost their reelection bids to Republican challengers on Nov. 3.
Mucarsel-Powell, the first immigrant from South America to ever be elected to Congress was defeated by fellow Latino challenger and former Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Giménez in the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.
In her time in office, Mucarsel-Powell fought to curb gun trafficking and gun violence, and demanded investigations into Florida’s ICE facilities after reports of discrimination against Muslim detainees, among other battles.
Amid COVID-19, she was also a harsh critic of both Florida governor Ron DeSantis and her opponent, Giménez, for their response to the pandemic.
To this day, Florida remains in the top three states in the U.S. in coronavirus cases with Miami-Dade county having both the highest case and death count in the state.
Giménez, a Cuban-American, who’s been a Miami-Dade resident since his family emigrated there in 1960 fleeing the Cuban Revolution, rode the votes of his fellow Cuban-Americans and other Latinos in Florida to victory in the same manner President Trump rode their vote to a triumph in the state as a whole.
Before his win, Giménez had been Mayor of Miami-Dade County since 2011. He’s also previously been Miami-Dade County Commissioner and the fire chief of the city of Miami.
In the past, prior to his congressional run, Giménez had distanced himself from President Trump — even endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 — but ran as a pro-Trump Republican in 2020.
His platform was one of lowering taxes, balancing the budget, and fighting for the environment among other issues.
In New Mexico, Xochitl Torres Small fell to Yvette Herrell, the same Republican candidate she beat two years ago for her spot in Congress.
Torres Small was a big fighter for the environment in her time in office, specifically the large swath she represented in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. She was one of 12 co-sponsors of the Great American Outdoors Act, which was a massive piece of bipartisan legislation that provided much-needed funding for National Parks and created a number of jobs in the conservation sector.
Herrell is a member of the Cherokee Nation. She previously served in the New Mexico House of Representatives for eight years, first entering office in 2011.
In her 2018 congressional face-off with Torres Small, Herrell lost to Torres Small by a little more than 1% of the vote.