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New Mexico state lawmaker Melanie Stansbury. Photo: Stansbury campaign

Democrat Melanie Stansbury defeated her Republican opponent Mark Moores in the special election to represent New Mexico's 1st congressional district, a House seat vacated when Deb Haaland was confirmed as President Biden's Interior secretary, per AP.

Why it matters: Stansbury's victory Tuesday night will grow Democrats' thin majority in the House to nine seats.

The big picture: Though Biden won the Democratic-leaning by 23 points in November, the race was seen as a potential litmus test for the strength of the party.

  • Stansbury was selected to run by New Mexico Democratic officials in April over Latina and Native American candidates. State law allows for state parties to pick their nominees instead of conducting primary elections.
  • Moores, who serves in New Mexico's state legislature with Stansbury, campaigned heavily on crime and law-and-order rhetoric, per the New York Times.
  • Republicans are likely to focus on the issue ahead of the 2022 midterms, when oddsmakers expect the party to win control of the House.

Go deeper: Democrats pick white woman over Latinas, Native Americans for Haaland seat

Go deeper

Native American population jumps to largest size in modern history

Zuni Pueblo women march 98th Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup, N.M. Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The number of people who identify as Native American or Alaska Native alone grew by 27.1% to 3.7 million people over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census.

Why it matter: The spike in the number of people who solely identify as Native American or Alaska Native mirrors the steady rise of the population since 1890, when Indigenous people were nearly wiped out in the U.S.

Updated 7 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.