In a satellite interview with Fox News recorded in the ABC-7 studios, Yvette Herrell explained why she has not yet conceded the race for New Mexico's district second congressional district.
"We have a second congressional district race where everybody goes to bed on Tuesday night thinking that I've been declared the winner," Herrell said. "Suddenly on Wednesday morning, they hear that there were 8,000 ballots that came up out of nowhere."
Herrell prematurely gave a victory speech on Tuesday night after she led Democrat Xochitl Torres Small by two thousand votes.
However, 8,000 absentee votes from Doña Ana County were not yet entered into the system until 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. In a stunning upset almost 24 hours after polls closed, Torres Small was projected to win the race by almost three thousand votes.
"It would have been easy to give up on this process," Torres Small said. "People could have said, 'This is just another time where it hasn't worked.' Instead, people were calling me this morning. People were showing up this morning. People were showing up to make sure that their votes counted."
Herrell has not yet stated whether she will request a recount. A spokesman for the Doña Ana County Clerk's office told ABC-7 that if she does, her campaign will have to front the cost of the recount. If she is found to be correct, the state will reimburse her the cost of the recount.
"This is about voter integrity and restoring voter confidence," Herrell said in her interview with Fox News. "We need to look into it, shine some light on it and make sure, if there's problems, let's fix it."
According to New Mexico state statute, a recount will be automatically triggered if there is less than a 0.25 percent margin of error. According to the Secretary of State's Office, Torres Small is 1.42 percentage points ahead of Herrell.
In a statement to ABC-7, a spokesman for Xochitl Torres Small said:
“Xochitl was honored to receive a resounding majority of the votes cast, and she looks forward to working with all southern New Mexicans to help improve our health care system, fix our broken immigration system, and grow our local economies."
Herell's campaign did not return a call for comment. ABC-7 has not been able to locate any interviews beyond her three minutes and forty seconds with Fox News.