Legal Administration, ITT Technical Institute in Boise, Idaho
KEY HEALTH LINK
Herrell served on the Health, Welfare and Indian Affairs Committee in the NM House. She championed numerous health issues include introducing various anti-abortion bills and bills that were very supportive of midwifery and school nursing.
Member of the New Mexico House of Representatives (51st district), 2011-2019
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Herrell won the GOP primary besting two other candidates and was victorious over Democrat Xochitl Torres Small in the general election, a rematch following their 2018 race against each other.
Xochitl Torres Small (D), defeated in re-election bid
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
New Mexico State House of Representatives (51st district);
small business owner, real estate
Herrell has made her career as a realtor and owning several small businesses. Herrell was first elected into office in 2010 to the New Mexico House of Representatives and re-elected three times. She sat on the Health, Government and Indian Affairs, Business and Industry, Business and Employment and State Government, Indian & Veterans Affairs Committees. Herrell also served as Chair of the Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee during the 2015 legislative session. In 2018, Herrell was the Republican nominee in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, ultimately falling short of Democrat Xochitl Torres Small. She will be part of the all-woman NM House delegation.
On The Issues
Herrell has criticized the media for its flipflopping and portrayal of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also criticized New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for what she percieves as unjustified actions to limit activities. She supports a balance of mortality risk with "looking at reopening our economy and our schools...If we take a look at the neighboring states in this region, our unemployment rate is almost twice as much.” Herrell has made statements voicing concern regarding additional COVID-19 relief funding, citing the federal deficit and her belief that aid to state and local governments would amount to "'handouts' to those who were not responsible." She said she believes Congress acted in the best interest of the American people to protect people from financial hardships, but funds should not have gone to large institutions like the Kennedy Center or Harvard. She believes individual states, communities and business owners need flexibility about when to reopen. There are reports that Herrell held campaign events occurred despite receiving cease and desist orders from law enforcement for not complying with New Mexican COVID-19 regulations.
Herrell wants to repeal and replace ACA with a free market-based, patient-centered health care system that would also contain protections for pre-existing conditions. She believes consumers should be able to select "physicans, policy plans, premium choices and coverage limits that work for their families and their businesses."
Herrell opposes the legalization of marijuana and has received a D rating from NORML. While in the State House, Herrell voted in favor of HB195, which would have specified that employers are not liable for medical marijuana workers' compensation costs. Herrell also voted against HB465, which would have reduced the penalties for the possession of marijuana.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
Herrell campaign website stated that, "We must reduce the stigma around mental health care for children and adults. [She] will work to ensure every American who needs help has access to mental health professionals." When asked about the opioid epidemic, Herrell stated that, "We have to secure our borders...It is a national crisis that should be strongly addressed at the national, state and local levels."
Herrell supports "easing rules on access to generic medications." In the NM House, she sponsored unsuccessful legislation that would permit students to carry and self-administer medication for conditions such as asthma and anaphylaxis and permit emergency administration by school administrators.
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
Herrell has stated that, "The men and women who answer the call to serve our nation...must be taken care of when they return home. The families of service members must be included in health care and education benefits..." Herrell has stated that, "Mental health care is a necessary component when providing complete coverage. Veterans should have local options to consider when seeking health care."
Herrell is pro-life, with an exception of the life of the mother. She supports the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and opposes funding for Planned Parenthood from any level of government. While in the NM House, Herrell authored a number of pro-life bills.
Herrell championed midwifery in the House. She passed a successful bill to provide malpractice insurance premium assistance for certified nurse-midwives or physicians whose insurance premium costs jeopardize their ability to continue their obstetrics practices in New Mexico. She also co-authored a bill to extend the rights of lay midwives to administer a limited formulary of drugs and devices. The bill passed both chambers but was pocket vetoed by the governor.
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
Herrell is supportive of expanding rural health care, including building medical infrastructure in rural areas as well as incentivizing medical professionals to practice in rural areas. She authored an unsuccessful bill that would require each public school district to employ at leat one full time registered nurse and other pro-school nurse legislation.
DID YOU KNOW?
Herrell is the first Cherokee woman elected to Congress and the first Republican Native American woman in Congress.