FILE - In this July 25, 2019, file photo, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, center, D-N.M., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference on the first 200 days of the 116th Congress, at the House East Front Steps of the Capitol in Washington. Lujan, the son of a legendary Latino political powerbroker, a political protégé of Nancy Pelosi and a former casino dealer, has never lost in election in seven contests for federal and state office. Lujan is vastly outspending well-known Republican former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a first-time political candidate with a tough-on-crime message, in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Udall. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján won election Tuesday to the U.S. Senate in New Mexico and Joe Biden won the state’s five Electoral College votes.

Luján, a six-term congressman from northern New Mexico, defeated Republican former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti and Libertarian scientist Bob Walsh.

Many votes still were uncounted late Tuesday night in the congressional race pitting Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small against Republican challenger Yvette Herrell in a rematch from 2018.

Ballot tallying ended at 11 p.m. across the state to guard against exhaustion and any missteps, with county election boards scheduled to reconvene early Wednesday morning.

Luján rose to the No. 4 position in Democratic House leadership and ran uncontested in the primary. His election Tuesday to succeed Sen. Tom Udall as he retires marks a resurgence of Latino political leadership in a state with the largest share of Hispanic residents.

On the campaign trail, Luján emphasized support for consumer health protections under the Affordable Care Act and criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

Luján said it will be up to the next Congress to prop up small businesses and “to ensure that there is going to be a vaccine that everyone can get at no cost. That way, it’s not unaffordable to people across the country that choose to take the vaccine.”

Luján also has presented himself as a proponent of new investments in clean-energy infrastructure projects and a supporter of the environmental efforts pursued by Udall, the son of former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall.

Biden’s statewide election victory without a campaign visit to New Mexico extends a string of victories for Democratic presidential candidates.

Trump had dispatched federal agents to Albuquerque amid his criticism of local Democratic leaders for their handling of crime and public safety issues in the months leading up to the election.

Ronchetti — a television-savvy, first-time political candidate — also seized on themes of law-and-order and cast himself as an ally of police and sheriffs departments.

State Democrats including New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham have condemned Trump’s handling of the coronavirus response.

Voters cast more than 890,000 on Election Day, easily surpassing New Mexico’s previous record of 833,000 ballots in the 2008 presidential election.

Democrats needed to pick up three or four seats in the U.S. Senate to take majority control, depending on who wins as president.

In New Mexico, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 14 percentage points, or about 180,000 people among the state’s approximately 1.35 million registered voters. But Republicans controlled the governor’s office as recently 2018 in a state with strong currents of Roman Catholicism and an enduring Libertarian streak.

In Santa Fe, 35-year-old art gallery director Jamie Garrison voted for Democratic candidates across presidential, Senate and House races.

“For me it was a moral choice,” she said. “I believe that Black lives matter, I believe in a woman’s right to choose, so I wanted to vote for a candidate that reflects my beliefs.”

Democratic attorney and voter-access advocate Teresa Leger Fernandez won an open race to succeed Luján in the Democratic-dominated 3rd District, defeating Republican engineer Alexis Johnson. And U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland won election to a second term to the Albuquerque-based 1st District by defeating Republican former police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes.

Leger Fernandez said Tuesday she wants a new economic recovery bill of the same scale as the U.S. response to the Great Depression of the early 1930s.

“We're going to do it by expanding the definition of infrastructure,” she said. “We're going to need to rebuilding the investment in schools. We're going to need to invest in our green energy grid.”

The state’s top election regulator has estimated that the statewide vote counting effort is likely to extend through Wednesday or Thursday amid a surge in absentee ballots that take more time to verify and tally.

The entire Legislature is also up for election. Democrats are defending their state House and Senate majorities.

Republicans legislative candidates are taking on a greater number of more liberal Democratic candidates selected by voters in primaries.

A wave of female state House Democrats won election in 2018 — opening up legislative gun control measures, a public education spending spree and mandates for renewable energy development signed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Two state Supreme Court seats are contested, and a ballot measure would overhaul the Public Regulation Commission that oversees electric utilities, pipeline safety and telecommunications.

Voters are being asked if they want the panel made up of five elected members instead of having three appointed by the governor.