GOP hits Torres Small on Green New Deal she says she opposes

Local Elections

In this Feb. 18, 2020 photo, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-Las Cruces, takes a photo with voters after a town hall meeting in Belen, N.M. Torres Small announced Thursday, March 19, 2020, she will go into self-quarantine after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Republicans have released another attack ad on Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico’s southern district even as she earns support from a traditionally conservative-leaning group.

The National Republican Congressional Committee this week unveiled a new commercial blasting the Las Cruces Democrat’s pledge to “work with anyone” while taking $175,000 in campaign contributions from what the committee calls radical environmental organizations.

“Their socialist Green New Deal would kill New Mexico jobs,” says a voice in the ad while showing pictures of Torres Small next to images of Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

The commercial urges New Mexico voters to support Republican challenger, Yvette Herrell.

The League of Conservation Voters is among the groups the National Republican Congressional Committee is linking to Torres Small. The group came out in favor of the Green New Deal. The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the political action committee of the League of Conservation Voters, endorsed Torres Small in 2018.

The Green New Deal is a nonbinding congressional resolution sponsored by Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 that calls on the federal government to move the nation away from oil and gas energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The measure failed to garner a single vote in the U.S. Senate — that some Democrats said was a vote-call ploy by Republicans — and it never went before the full U.S. House of Representatives.

Torres Small has said she opposes the Green New Deal and has angered some in her own party for refusing to endorse the resolution. She also told the Albuquerque Journal earlier this year that she has “consistently opposed a fracking ban” because of the effects it would have on New Mexico’s public education funding system due to lost revenue from drilling.

Republicans, however, have pointed to comments that Torres Small made about climate change and in support of New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act, which seeks to move the state away from coal and toward clean energy. The state law passed in 2019 without opposition from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

“Voters won’t be fooled by Torres Small’s fake campaign rhetoric this time around,” said Michael Horanburg, Herrell’s campaign manager.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico immediately hit back against the National Republican Congressional Committee ad, calling it misleading.

“Torres Small’s record shows she has been a consistent advocate for energy production jobs in her district,” New Mexico Democrats said in a statement. “When members of her party wanted to exclude oil and gas workers from coronavirus relief efforts, she fought to ensure that all workers in southern New Mexico were included.”

Last week, Torres Small released an ad where she touted her support of the state’s oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, the Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week endorsed Torres Small over Herrell in the closely watched race. The chamber gave Torres Small high ratings for bipartisanship.

“Your continued leadership in Congress will benefit the nation as we combat the coronavirus, work to restore economic growth, and expand opportunities for all Americans,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue told Torres Small.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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