- Associated Press - Thursday, December 19, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A GOP candidate in a critical Congressional race in New Mexico said her Republican primary opponent’s inept 2018 campaign and general election loss partly resulted in President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Moments after the Democratic-controlled U.S. House impeached the president, Claire Chase’s campaign said late Wednesday that Yvette Herrell’s poorly run campaign and loss to Democrat Xochitl Torres Small gave Democrats one more vote. Rep. Torres Small voted for two articles of impeachment against Trump.

A simple majority vote was needed House to impeach Trump. The votes for impeachment were 230-197-1 on the first charge of abuse of power, and 229-198-1 on the second charge that he obstructed Congress in its investigation.

“Xochitl Torres Small’s vote to impeach President Trump was brought to you by Yvette Herrell and her failure to protect President Trump in 2018,” Chase’s campaign said in a statement. “By refusing to run a campaign worthy of defending our President and his agenda, Yvette hand delivered another member of the resistance to Nancy Pelosi who would join forces with her to reverse the results of the 2016 election.”

Herrell faced criticism from some Republicans over the way she waged her campaign and for refusing to debate Torres Small on television.



Herrell’s campaign manager Dakotah Parshall called Chase’s charge “desperate” and said conservative leaders across the country have endorsed Herrell.

“Claire Chase thought she could buy this seat, and is getting desperate as she discovers that’s not the case. She is losing this race by 30% as conservatives find out her true anti-Trump beliefs,” Parshall said.

Chase, an oil executive, announced earlier this year she would seek the GOP nomination to take on Torres Small. Herrell, a former state lawmaker, said she will seek a rematch against Torres Small after losing by less than 4,000 votes.

Las Cruces businessman Chris Mathys is also seeking the GOP nomination.

Torres Small is only the third Democrat to represent the district that covers the state’s booming oil and gas region and an area along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Meanwhile, Torres Small is facing a bombardment of television ads from conservative-leaning groups for her impeachment vote. The American Action Network announced Wednesday that the Las Cruces Democrat will be one of 29 Democratic targeted in $2.5 million in television and digital advertisements over impeachment.

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

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