NEW MEXICO
     Nov. 3, 2020 Senate                                      

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Sen.2
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+Ben Ray Luján (D)
474,483
51.73%
Mark Ronchetti (R)
418,483
45.62%
Bob Walsh (L)
24,271
2.65%

917,237

Registered Voters:  1,351,811.  Ballots cast:  928,230. 
Plurality:  56,000 votes (6.11 percentage points)

 NM Secretary of State




Notes: 

Sen. Tom Udall (D), first elected in 2008, announced on Mar. 25, 2019 that he would not seek re-election.  Rep. Ben Ray
Luján (D) held the seat for the Democrats, defeating TV meteorologist Mark Ronchetti (R) and retired mathematician Bob Walsh (L).

Luján, from a prominent New Mexico family, started in public service serving four years on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, including three as chairman.  He was elected to Congress in 2008.  In the 2016 and 2018 cycles he chaired the DCCC, and he served as Assistant Speaker starting in Jan. 2019.  Luján announced his candidacy for Senate on April 1, 2019.  On April 24 Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced she was running, but, trailing badly in fundraising, she ended her campaign six months later on Oct. 29 and endorsed Luján.
 
On the Republican side, three candidates competed in the June 2 primary. 
Ronchetti had a significant advantage in name identification; he had worked for 23 years in TV news, serving as chief meteorologist at KRQE News in Albuquerque from 2006.  He launched his campaign on Jan. 7, 2020 as "a trusted voice for New Mexico (>)."  Also running were Elisa Maria Martinez, who founded the NM Alliance for Life in 2015, and Gavin S. Clarkson, the Republican nominee for NM Secretary of State in 2018, who had resigned under scandal in 2017 from a position in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  In addition two candidates withdrew following the March 2020 Republican nominating convention: Mark Rich, the 2018 Senate nominee and Louie Sanchez, owner of a firearms store and shooting range.  When the votes in the June primary were tallied Ronchetti won with 89,216 votes (56%), followed by Martinez 41,240 (26%) and Clarkson 27,471 (17%).

There were three debates.  Luján, Ronchetti and Walsh participated in the debate hosted by KOB 4 and the Santa Fe New Mexican on Oct. 5 (1, 2); Ronchetti was in studio and the other two candidates appeared from remote locations.  All three candidates participated in the NM PBS debate on Oct. 18 (>); again Ronchetti was in studio and the other two were remote.  Finally, Luján and Ronchetti, remotely, participated in the KOAT-TV and Albuquerque Journal debate on Oct. 21 (>).

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the
Luján campaign spent $9.3 million compared to $3.9 million for the Ronchetti campaign (>).


Campaign Managers:
Ben Ray Luján  Travis Brimm
(Mar. 2020)  North Carolina state director on Biden for President, Dec. 2019-Mar. 2020. 
Senior advisor on McCready for Congress (NC-09), June-Oct. 2019.  Campaign manager on Richard Bew for Congress (NC-03), Feb.-May 2019.  Southern candidate fundraising director at the DCCC, Apr. 2017-Jan. 2019.  Finance director on Julia Brownley for Congress (CA), Aug. 2015-Mar. 2017.  Client manager/candidate committee coordinator at Evans & Katz LLC, Mar. 2013-Aug. 2015.  Campaign manager on Linda Fondren for Mayor (Vicksburg, MS), Jan.-Mar. 2013.  Deputy finance director on Lampson for Congress (TX), Apr. 2012-Jan. 2013.  B.A. in history, business, English from University of Mississippi.  

Mark Ronchetti  Jeff Glassburner
Originally from Gretna, NE.






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