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Xochitl Liana Torres Small (first name pronounced /ˈsl/ SOH-cheel; born November 15, 1984) is an American lawyer and politician from the state of New Mexico, serving as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district. The district is the largest by area outside of the at-large congressional districts, and covers the southern half of the state including Roswell, Carlsbad, Las Cruces and southern Albuquerque. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Xochitl Torres Small
Xochitl Torres Small, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded bySteve Pearce
Personal details
Xochitl Liana Torres

(1984-11-15) November 15, 1984 (age 34)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Nathan Small
EducationGeorgetown University (BA)
University of New Mexico (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Early life and careerEdit

Xochitl Liana Torres was born on November 15, 1984 in Portland, Oregon, to Marcos and Cynthia "Cynta" Torres.[1] Marcos and Cynta were both educators, Marcos with child care providers, parents and fathers, Cynta as a public school special education teacher. Marcos also worked as a social worker in child protective services, services for the developmentally disabled and union leader. Torres Small was raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[2][3]

After graduating high school from Mayfield High School in absentia while she earned her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma from Waterford Kamhlaba United World College in Mbabane, Eswatini, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University and her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law.[4][2][5]

Torres Small worked as a field representative for U.S. Senator Tom Udall from 2009 to 2012. She was a federal law clerk in the New Mexico District from 2015 to 2016.[2] She was a water attorney with the Kemp Smith law firm.[6]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit



In the 2018 elections, Torres Small ran for the open United States House of Representatives seat in New Mexico's 2nd congressional district. The incumbent, Steve Pearce, declined to run for reelection in order to run for Governor of New Mexico.[7] Torres Small defeated Madeline Hildebrandt in the Democratic Party primary election, and defeated Republican nominee Yvette Herrell in the November 6, 2018, general election.[8][9] On November 7, 2018, following the final absentee ballot counts, Torres Small was declared the winner by the New Mexico Secretary of State.[10] Torres Small ran as a moderate Democrat.[11]

The results were close on election night, with Herrell in the lead at the end of the night and some New Mexico media organizations projecting that Herrell would win.[11] The next day, more ballots were counted which narrowed Herrell's lead, and media organizations rescinded their projections.[11] The Associated Press called the election for Torres Small on November 7, 2018.[11] Herrell refused to concede and went on to claim, without evidence, that the ballot counting may not have been conducted lawfully. Herrell claimed on Fox News on November 10, 2018, that New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver had "magically found 4,000 ballots that had not been counted." However, the votes in question were absentee ballots which were tabulated in full view of reporters on November 7, 2018.[12] Herrell claimed in the Fox News interview that there were "over 100 documented complaints about some of the things that happened during this race", but did not elaborate on the complaints or substantiate them with documents.[12]


In her first week in office, she and other members of the CHC traveled to the United States Border Patrol station at Alamogordo, New Mexico, where Felipe Gómez Alonzo, an eight-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, died in custody.[13]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

In 2016, Small's husband, Nathan Small, was elected in District 36 as a Democratic member of the New Mexico House of Representatives.[7] He ran for reelection in 2018, winning with 59.9% of the general election vote.[18][19] She is a Lutheran.[20]

Electoral historyEdit

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Xochitl Torres Small 25,193 72.62
Democratic Madeline Hildebrandt 9,500 27.38
Total votes 34,693 100.00
New Mexico's 2nd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Xochitl Torres Small 101,489 50.9
Republican Yvette Herrell 97,767 49.1
Total votes 199,256 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Candidate Conversation - Xochitl Torres-Small (D)". Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. April 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Angela Kocherga (October 2, 2018). "Torres Small banks on 'strong independent streak' in district". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  3. ^ Missing teacher is back home, Albuquerque Journal, October 27, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "Inspired Alumna Runs for Office in New Mexico". UWC. November 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Bush, Mike (May 27, 2014). "UNM team had role in court ruling". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Sanchez, Derek (February 13, 2018). "UNM School of Law Alumna Seeks Big Impact on New Mexico Politics". UNM School of Law News. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Las Cruces water attorney to seek seat being vacated by Pearce". January 17, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Torres Small, Herrell to Battle for New Mexico Open Seat". June 5, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Torres Small, Herrell to face off for congressional seat in GOP stronghold | Albuquerque Journal". Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Secretary of state declares Torres Small winner of 2nd Congressional District race". November 7, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d "Republican Who Lost US House Race Seeks to Impound Ballots".
  12. ^ a b "On Fox, Herrell alleged 'documented complaints' about election. Then she went silent". Las Cruces Sun-News. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "US delegation seeks more details on Guatemalan boy's death". sanluisobispo. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "BLUE DOG COALITION ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP, NEW MEMBERS FOR THE 116TH CONGRESS". Blue Dog Coalition. November 27, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Women's Caucus". Women's Congressional Policy Institute. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  16. ^ "Chairman Joaquin Castro Welcomes Newest Members to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus". Congressman Joaquin Castro. January 8, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  17. ^ "New Democrat Coalition Inducts 30 Members-Elect and Elects New Leadership". New Democrat Coalition. November 30, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  18. ^ "Rep. Nathan Small announces re-election bid for District 36". Las Cruces Sun-News. March 9, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Jacqueline Devine (November 6, 2018). "Democrats sweep house races, New Mexico". Las Cruces Sun News. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  20. ^ Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. "Religious affiliation of members of 116th Congress" (PDF). p. 8. Retrieved April 2, 2019.

External linksEdit