On Tuesday Nov. 6, Republican Congressman Steve Pearce lost to Democrat Governor-Elect, Michelle Lujan Grisham. Pearce lost by some 12 percentage points (at the time of publication), according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website.
Polls leading up to election night had Lujan Grisham favored by almost seven percentage points.
As the vote counts rolled in, the crowd at the Republican victory party waited for good news. A swarm of Pearce supporters high-fived and shouted as the televisions showed Republicans take the lead in various races.
But when the numbers showed Lujan Grisham winning the governor’s race, the crowd’s energy came to a halt. Some shed tears while others held out hope the results might shift.
“Tonight did not go the way we wanted it to, we worked tenaciously throughout the state,” Pearce said.
Pearce came out on the stage to address the crowd minutes after the winner was announced. Cynthia Pearce, his wife of 20 years, joined him as he thanked the crowd for their support and patience.
“For the first time in New Mexico’s history, we have all the elements to succeed,” Pearce said. “We see what’s happening around us and we want the same opportunity. What I offer to the governor-elect, is that I can assist in any way I can.”
Pearce had kind words for his opponent, even calling her his friend, wishing her luck on her upcoming term.
Born in 1947 near Hobbs, New Mexico, Pearce has been active in New Mexico politics for over 20 years. Pearce is a Vietnam veteran, and a previous owner of businesses in the oilfield industry.
As the representative in New Mexico’s 2nd District, he has been serving the southern part of the state, one that is known to be the more conservative area of the state.
Since 1987, New Mexico has seen the governor’s seat alternate from Democrat to Republican. Lujan Grisham will be the first Democrat governor since 2011 when it was held by Bill Richardson. Lujan Grisham will be replacing Republican Governor Susana Martinez, who served two terms.
“I think that we have a dramatic future, which we all want, and we can work together for the future of this state,” Pearce said. “The opportunity for all of us to go from simple beginnings to wherever we want to go and that is what the promise of this country is and I am going to work in the future so we can all continue to achieve this.”