UPDATE 1-Clinton wins N.Mexico Democratic presidential vote

Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:38pm EST

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(Updates with details)

WASHINGTON Feb 14 (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton won the New Mexico contest on Feb. 5 to choose a Democratic presidential candidate, narrowly edging rival Barack Obama in a closely fought vote that took nine days to count, a state party election official announced on Thursday.

Clinton, the New York senator and former first lady, defeated Obama 73,105 to 71,396, a margin of just 1,709 votes in the New Mexico contest, said Brad Colon, a New Mexico Democratic Party election official.

"I am so proud to have earned the support of New Mexicans from across the state," Clinton said in a statement in which she said she had been awarded 14 of the state's 26 delegates to the party's nominating convention this summer.

The New Mexico contest took place on "Super Tuesday," when nearly half of the U.S. states selected Democratic and Republican candidates for the November election.

The victory, while narrow, was welcome news for Clinton, who had lost a string of eight consecutive state presidential selection contests to the Illinois senator since Feb. 5. (Reporting by David Alexander, editing by Lori Santos)

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