Posted at: 11/06/2012 8:41 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 12:14 PM
By: Tracy Dingmann, KOB.com
Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham has defeated Republican Janice Arnold-Jones to become Albuquerque's newest congresswoman.
Lujan Grisham replaces two-term Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich, who was running for Senate against Heather Wilson, a Republican who previously held the 1st District seat for six terms.
Heinrich won the seat in 2008 when Wilson gave it up to make a losing run for retiring Sen. Pete Domenici's seat.
Heinrich won a Senate contest over Wilson and will become New Mexico's junior senator.
Lujan Grisham held a solid lead throughout the campaign. Political observers attributed that to a growing number of Hispanic voters in the district and a lack of presence in New Mexico by the national Republican Party.
Lujan Grisham says she is looking at consumer protection and jobs bills "to put New Mexicans back to work."
Her challenger, former legislator Janice Arnold-Jones, didn't immediately concede after Lujan Grisham gave her victory speech.
But she did finally emerge from her hotel room - and talked to KOB's Joe Vigil first.
"It appears that Michelle Lujan Grisham has won the day and so now is the time for all of us to come together," said Arnold Jones. "And I congratulate her. I will support her but this is our country, this is our state and the only way we're going to solve our problems is if we find a way to talk with one another."
Arnold-Jones didn't specify what she will do next - but she did say she wants to stay active in the community.
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