November 3, 2020

Democrat Leger Fernandez wins 3rd Congressional District, AP projects

Courtesy Teresa Leger Fernandez

Teresa Leger Fernandez won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state's 3rd Congressional District.

Teresa Leger Fernandez beat Republican Alexis Johnson for the open seat in the House of Representatives for New Mexico’s 3rd  Congressional District. 

The Associated Press called the election for Leger Fernandez at 9:12 p.m., with 83 percent of precincts reporting partial results and 10 percent of precincts reported full results.

Leger Fernandez thanked those who voted for her, and said she will work to earn the trust of those who did not vote for her, in her victory speech.

“I promise to listen to your voices and strategize with you to help us all solve our common problems,” she said during a virtual election event held by the New Mexico Democratic Party. “2021 will be transformative as we address the failures that have caused so much death and misery, as we resolve ourselves to act in unison, in the face of a crisis.”

Leger Fernandez runs the Santa Fe-based social impact law firm Leger Law and Strategy. She was appointed as vice chair to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation under President Barack Obama’s administration. She was also appointed as a White House Fellow by President Bill Clinton. Leger Fernandez also served as a commissioner on the Las Acequias de Chupadero.

RELATED: Candidate Q&A: Teresa Leger Fernandez on environmental issues

New Mexico’s 3rd  Congressional District covers the northern part of the state, and spans Colfax, Curry, Harding, Los Alamos, Mora, Quay, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Taos, and Union counties. The district also includes parts of Bernalillo, McKinley, Roosevelt, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties.

The seat has been held by Ben Ray Luján since 2008, when Luján replaced Democrat Tom Udall, who opted to run for U.S. Senate. Luján served six terms, easily winning each election by between 55 percent to 63 percent of the vote.  

Following Luján’s announcement that he would not seek reelection to the seat, Leger Fernandez faced off against eleven other Democrats to win the party nomination. 

Republican Alexis Johnson is an environmental engineer and rancher. She worked at the Midland, Texas-based environmental consulting firm Larson & Associates. 

Race trackers such as The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, all considered the election an uncompetitive, safe Democratic win.