Democrat Melanie Stansbury won election to Congress for New Mexico on Tuesday with a campaign closely tied to initiatives of the Biden administration.

Stanbury prevailed in an open, four-way race to fill a vacant seat previously held by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. The 42-year-old state legislator outpaced her Republican rival by more than 30,000 votes, garnering roughly six of every 10 votes as ballots were tallied into the night.

Stansbury closely tethered her bid for Congress to proposed and enacted Democratic legislation on pandemic relief, infrastructure spending and interventions to slow climate change. Her victory shores up the Democratic majority in Congress ahead of 2022 midterm elections.

She strode on stage in Albuquerque with both arms raised high, in celebration of her win. Thanking supporters and volunteers, she said the grit and determination that fueled her campaign was learned from her own mother, who worked in a denim factory and later as a crane operator.

“When the moment demands it, when our families and our communities demand it, when our country demands it, we step up and find the solutions for communities and we figure it out,” Stanbury said. “And that is exactly what we did in this campaign and that is why I am standing before you tonight.”

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