New Mexico Democrats Scramble to Attack GOP Candidate for June Special Election

Mark Moores
Mark Moores for Congress

The Democrat candidate in a New Mexico congressional district race that leans blue recently released a campaign ad attacking her Republican opponent, signaling the race to fill the vacancy left by now-Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has become competitive ahead of the June 1 election day.

Democrat Melanie Stansbury, who is facing Republican state Sen. Mark Moores in the First Congressional District special election, is running a television ad bashing Moores for his stances on coronavirus relief, including his opposition to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.”

Moores, a state senator since 2013 and former college football player, is competing against Stansbury in a district rated by the Cook Political Report as nine points favorable to Democrats and that Biden won by 23 points and former Rep. Haaland (D) won by 16 points.

New Mexico Republican Party President Steve Pearce warned in the early stages of the race that his organization viewed it as a “pickup opportunity” and was “all in” on electing a Republican candidate.

Federal election data suggests Republicans are indeed fighting for the seat as Moores ended 2021’s first quarter with $250,000 in cash on hand, compared to Stansbury’s $99,000. Moores in the first quarter also logged more in cash received and less in expenses than Stansbury, aided in large part by him being able to loan $200,000 of his own to his campaign.

One Republican strategist told Breitbart News that Stansbury’s ad — which spends its full 30 seconds attacking Moores — is an indicator that the Stansbury campaign may view voter support for Moores as growing out of negative reception to Biden’s immigration and energy policies, which heavily impact New Mexico given it is a southern border state and partially covered in federal land.

“It doesn’t bode well for Democrats in New Mexico or across the country that they’re having to spend time and resources in a district Joe Biden won by almost 23 points because their open borders, anti-energy agenda is so politically toxic,” the strategist said.

Moores himself took the ad as a positive sign for his campaign.

“Attacking our campaign this early wasn’t in my opponent’s plan. It’s a clear sign of the momentum we are gaining each and every day,” Moores told Breitbart News in a statement. “New Mexicans are rallying around our campaign because they want someone who will clean up the crime and drug problems plaguing our communities, work to ensure they can keep more of their hard earned money, and fight to safely & fully reopen our businesses.”

Stansbury’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com.

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