GOP hopeful in crucial US House race skips 1st radio debate


FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, Republican U.S. House hopeful Yvette Herrell of New Mexico waits for a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M., about a GOP challenge to the way the state is counting absentee ballots. Three Republican hopefuls seeking to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small for a key southern New Mexico seat. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — The first major debate among GOP hopefuls in a crucial U.S. House race in New Mexico had a noticeable absence _ a Republican who skipped debates in 2018 and lost the seat. Former state lawmaker Yvette Herrell declined Thursday to participate in the debate with two of her opponents on KIVA radio in Albuquerque. Herrel says she did not attend because host Eddy Aragon had endorsed against her. Aragon said he had endorsed oil executive Claire Chase in the race but always allows candidates equal time on the station. Herrell lost to U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in 2018 by less than 3,000 votes. 

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