With Democrats maintaining a large lead in the state House of Representatives and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reelected for another four years, the Legislature is in a position to pass reproductive rights legislation, according to a Democratic legislator. State Rep. Linda Serrato, D-Santa Fe, called the next two years “crucial” to passing reproductive rights legislation. She said her focus is on expanding access to reproductive healthcare. “This election spoke volumes. We have a majority female House and a governor who supports bodily autonomy.
Tuesday night ended with incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham winning reelection to the governor’s office. “Tonight, New Mexico said yes – yes to hope, yes to growth, yes to fighting for our neighbors, not against them,” Lujan Grisham said in a press release. “Tonight New Mexico said yes to equal justice under the law, New Mexico said yes to economic opportunity for all, New Mexico said yes to more health care for families, better education for kids and more economic freedom for workers and students.” The expensive campaign featured millions of dollars of ads on each side, with attack ads blanketing airwaves and mailers filling inboxes for weeks. Lujan Grisham spoke about protecting abortion access, while Ronchetti campaigned on crime, saying it was out of control in the state.
If Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti wins election, he can still impact reproductive rights policy, even without being able to pass his priorities through the Legislature with Democratic majorities. Ronchetti has campaigned on an anti-abortion policy. During the Republican primary, his campaign website said he believed “life should be protected – at all stages.” In a commercial in September he said, that if elected, he would support a voter referendum on banning abortion after 15 weeks. But in July, Albuquerque megachurch pastor Steve Smothermon said Ronchetti told him privately that, if elected, Ronchetti still intended to ban abortion. Ronchetti’s campaign denied it.
Related: Pastor says Ronchetti would seek to ban abortion
Smothermon reiterated the claim to his congregation in October, saying that “he told me exactly what I said.”
Ronchetti’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Albuquerque Legacy Church Pastor Steve Smothermon said for a second time that GOP candidate for governor, Mark Ronchetti, told Smothermon he would ban abortion if elected. Ronchetti’s campaign denied the allegation when Smothermon initially said he and Ronchetti had talked “for hours” and that Ronchetti had told him during an earlier part of his campaign that he would ban abortion if elected. Smothermon announced this during a church sermon in July. Ronchetti’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment regarding Smothermon’s second allegation made before his congregation in October. But Smothermon insisted to his congregants, “I assure you, he told me exactly what I said.”
Democratic Party of New Mexico Communications Director Daniel Garcia questioned Ronchetti’s trustworthiness in response to the pastor’s remarks.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti on a social media account this week. “(Ronchetti) will be tough & smart on Crime, the Border and everything else!” the post stated.
“Mark is supported by people from all walks of life and all different viewpoints – including Democratic sheriffs, former Libertarian presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and now former President Trump,” Ronchetti campaign spokesman Ryan Sabel said.
The statement included some statements about New Mexico during Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s term as governor. “With crime at record levels and just 1 in 5 students learning at grade level, it’s not hard to see that, as governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham has made things worse and New Mexico needs to go in a different – and better – direction,” Sabel said. Lujan Grisham reacted to the Trump endorsement with a statement of her own. “Donald Trump’s endorsement of Mark Ronchetti emphasizes the clear choice in this race: I will keep delivering on the issues that matter to New Mexico families, while Mark Ronchetti would bring Donald Trump’s extreme national Republican policies to New Mexico,” the incumbent said.
A poll released on Monday showed a closer race than two other polls released earlier in the week. The poll, conducted by Emerson College Polling for the Washington D.C. paper The Hill, showed incumbent Gov. Lujan Grisham leading her Republican opponent Mark Ronchetti narrowly, 49 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, with 1 percent backing Libertarian nominee Karen Bedonie. When undecided voters were pushed, the race further tightened with Lujan Grisham’s lead narrowing to 50 percent to 48 percent. Lujan Grisham holds a large lead among those who said they already voted, 59 percent to 39.5 percent. Ronchetti, meanwhile, leads among those who said they were very likely to vote, 48.4 percent to 44.8 percent.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti has proposed a tax plan that includes tax cuts that his main general election opponent says is not feasible. The proposed tax plan includes permanent tax cuts for middle and low-income workers, rebates from state income from oil and gas, economic incentives for businesses wanting to move to New Mexico and create jobs and a small business rescue plan. The proposed plan indicates that all New Mexicans would receive $100 for every $1 billion in oil and gas revenues New Mexico receives. “Right now the state of New Mexico has one of the worst tax structures in the country for small businesses and people from all over the political spectrum agree that it needs to change,” Ronchetti campaign spokesman Ryan Sabel said in response to an inquiry from NM Political Report. “The New Mexico State Government has never been richer, and [Gov.] Michelle Lujan Grisham has grown the government by 40 percent while our people are struggling to get to the end of the month.
With 23 days before the November election, New Mexico Democrats held a rally with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America national leaders in Las Cruces on Saturday to discuss the importance of abortion rights. Close to 300 people attended the rally at Albert Johnson Park, next to Las Cruces City Hall. Democrats campaigning for office included former Las Cruces City Councilor Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, who is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell for the state’s 2nd Congressional District seat, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who is vying for a second term and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is also campaigning for a second term in office. Toulouse Oliver faces Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo, a Republican, and Mayna Myers, a Libertarian. Lujan Grisham is competing with Republican Mark Ronchetti and Libertarian Karen Bedonie.
A poll conducted last week for KOB-TV found incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham with a large lead over Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti. The poll conducted by SurveyUSA for the Albuquerque-based TV station found that 53 percent of likely voters supported Lujan Grisham, compared to 37 percent for Ronchetti and 3 percent for Libertarian nominee Karen Bedonie. Another 7 percent said they were undecided. This is the largest lead shown of any publicly released poll in the governor’s race so far. A poll conducted for NM Political Report at the tail end of the same week found Lujan Grisham led Ronchetti by 8 percentage points.
Incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham continues to lead the gubernatorial race, with the support of just under 50 percent of likely voters. That’s according to a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report.
The poll found that Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, leads Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti 48 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Karen Bedonie getting the support of 7 percent. Another 6 percent are undecided. Related: See Michelle Lujan Grisham’s approval rating
This is an increase in the gap between the two top contenders from a June NM Political Report poll which showed Lujan Grisham leading with 45 percent of supporters to 42 percent for Ronchetti and 9 percent for Bedonie. The poll is slightly higher than the average of polls at Real Clear Politics which shows Lujan Grisham leading by 6.7 points.