SANTA FE, N.M. — Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard, making her second bid for the House District 43 seat centered around Los Alamos, has declared victory over incumbent Republican Jim Hall.
The latest, apparently complete but unofficial results show Richard with 7,089 votes to 6,780 for Hall, who was appointed to the seat last year by Gov. Susana Martinez following the death of longtime Republican Rep. Jeanette Wallace. Richard narrowly lost to Wallace in 2010 in her first race for the seat.
The race was too close to call Tuesday night, although Hall acknowledged late in the evening that it appeared he would lose after late results from Sandoval County came in. District 43, in addition to Los Alamos County, also includes precincts in Rio Arriba County and parts of the Santa Fe area.
Richard issued a statement today in which she said she was now able to say “that we have won the race for House District 43 by 309 votes!”
“We accomplished an amazing feat last night,” she added in the message to supporters.
“Together we made a difference and proved that a small committed group of individuals can truly change the course of history in New Mexico,” her statement added. “As we look to the future, I’d also like to recognize and thank Representative Hall for his service over the past year.”
District 43 is considered a swing district crucial to determining which party controlled the state House of Representatives. Late returns show that Democrats appear to have retained a House majority.