NEW MEXICO
     Nov. 8, 2022 Governor                                      

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+Michelle Lujan Grisham/H.Morales (D) i
370,168
51.97%
Mark Ronchetti/A.Thornton (R)
324,701
45.58%
Karen Bedonie/E.Gallardo (L)
17,387
2.44%

712,256

Registered voters: 1,364,559.  Ballots cast: 714,754. 
Plurality: 45,467 votes (6.38 percentage points)

 NM Secretary of State




Notes:  Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), seeking a second term, defeated
Mark Ronchetti (R), the 2020 nominee for U..S. Senate and a former meteorologist, and Karen Bedonie (L), a Navajo business owner and former Republican (>).

Cook Political Report rated this race as Lean Democrat.  In 2020 Biden carried the state by 54.29% to 43.50% for Trump, while Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D) defeated Ronchetti by 51.73% to 45.62% in the U.S. Senate race.
 
Lujan Grisham faced major challenges during her tenure, including pandemic response and record-breaking wildfires (>), and she endured several scandals.  New Mexico also had one of the highest crime rates of any state; Ronchetti focused much attention on the issue. 
 

Lujan Grisham and Ronchetti engaged in two debates: at KOB-TV studios on Sept. 30 (>) and on KOAT-TV on Oct. 12 (>).

Ronchetti had several prominent Republicans come to campaign with him including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Carlsbad on Aug. 14 and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin at stops in Albuquerque and Las Cruces on Oct. 5.  He closed with a #RonchettiOnTheRoad RV tour.  Lujan Grisham brought in outside support as well.  Vice President Kamala Harris held a conversation on reproductive rights with her at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque on Oct. 26 (>) and President Joe Biden rallied with her at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque on Nov. 3 (>).

 
June 7 Primaries
Lujan Grisham was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.  Prior to her election as governor in 2018, she  served three terms in the U.S. House, two years as a member of the Bernalillo County Commission, and earlier in positions in the King, Johnson and Richardson administrations.  In Sept. 2020, she was named as one of five co-chairs of the Biden-Harris transition, and in December there were reports she had turned down a position in the Biden administration, reportedly Interior Secretary.  She received unfavorable coverage in Feb. 2021 over taxpayer funded spending on food and alcohol.  In April and October 2021 a settlement with a former campaign staffer who had accused her of sexual harassment made national news.  Lujan Grisham launched her re-election campaign with a rally at Albuquerque Museum on June 3, 2021, although loud protesters forced her to cut short the event (>).  On a personal note, in May 2022 Lujan Grisham celebrated her wedding, which had been postponed due to the pandemic.

Five Republicans competed in the June 7 primary. 
Ronchetti launched his campaign on Oct. 27, 2021 (>).  He was well known from his work as a TV weatherman and his 2020 Senate run and was better funded than his opponents.  State Rep. Rebecca Dow from Truth or Consequences entered the race on July 7 (>).  She founded AppleTree Educational Center in 1999 and was elected to the legislature in 2016.   Brigadier General Greg Zanetti (ret.), who served as the commanding general at Guantanamo and is now a financial advisor, announced on June 14.  Also running were Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block, a USAF veteran; and Ethel Maharg, mayor of the Village of Cuba and executive director of New Mexico Right to Life. 

All five candidates participated in a Zoom debate on KOAT-TV, recorded on May 18 and aired on May 20 (>).  Block, Maharg and Zanetti participated in a debate on June 2 hosted by Freedom Families United (>).  In the closing weeks of the campaign Ronchetti and Dow engaged in a lot of back and forth attacks;
Joe Monahan (New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan) reported that Dow would not endorse Ronchetti if he won the primary.

Ronchetti won the primary with 58.41% of 117,551 votes tallied, followed by Dow (15.46%), Zanetti (13.95%), Block (10.61%) ad Maharg (1.57%).  In the Libertarian primary, Bedonie defeated write-in candidate Ginger Grider by 980 votes to 198.



Campaign Managers:
Michelle Lujan Grisham: several.  ...started with Hilary Boris, then Margaret Jarosz, then Alex Freedman.  Freedman had to leave due to health reasons and the campaign finished the last couple of months with no one holding the campaign manager title:
Alex Freedman
(June 2022)  Lead, advocacy and external affairs for Success Academy Charter Schools (NY), Dec. 2021-Aug. 2022.  Political consultant in New York, May 2020-Nov. 2021.  Deputy director for the remote Iowa Caucus, Nov. 2019.  Iowa deputy political director on Beto for America, May-Nov. 2019. 
Campaign manager on Tim Gannon’s 2018 campaign for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture; finance director on Boulton for Iowa, 2018.  Campaign manager on Vince Chirciro for NYC City Council, 2017.  Colorado border state director on Hillary Clinton's campaign, Jun.-Dec. 2016. Regional field director in Waterloo on Martin O’Malley's presidential campaign from June 2015-Mar. 2016. Campaign manager on Rostom Sakissian for L.A. City Council, Jan.-March 2015.  Field organizer for the Iowa Democratic Party, May-Nov. 2014.  Research analyst/tracker at Friends of Chris Murphy, June-Nov. 2012.  B.A. in international relations and affairs from Syracuse University, 2013.

Margaret Jarosz
(Mar. 2022)  Campaign manager on Nick for Oregon (Kristof for governor), Nov. 2021-Apr. 2022.  Traffic manager at Resonance Campaigns, July 2020-Jan. 2021.  Iowa caucus director on Beto for America, Mar.-Dec. 2019. 
Senior trip advisor to Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), when he was considering a presidential run.  Chief organizational officer on Fred Hubbell for Governor, June-Dec. 2018.  Campaign manager on Pete for Iowa, Jan.-July 2018.  Field manager for 270 Strategies, Aug. 2017-Jan. 2018.  Distributed organizing director on Tom Periello for Governor, Feb.-July 2017.  Field director in Manchester, NH for NextGen Climate, Aug. 2016-Jan. 2017.  Regional director for Dubuque on Bernie 2016, then to Nebraska, Wisconsin, and concluded as deputy field director in So. Calif..  Northeast regional field director on Run Warren Run.  Field organizer on the Wendy Davis for Governor campaign in Texas, Sept.-Nov. 2014.  Campaign manager on Sara Geenen for Wisconsin State Assembly, March-Aug. 2014.  Volunteered with the campaign to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (March-June 2012) and with President Obama’s re-election campaign (Sept.-Nov. 2012).  Milwaukee native.  Attended Loyola University Chicago.


Mark Ronchetti:  Jeff Glassburner
(reported by Politico Aug. 12, 2022) 
Campaign manager for Karrin Taylor Robson in the Aug. 2, 2022 Arizona Republican primary for governor (finished second to Kari Lake).  Campaign manager on Ronchetti's 2020 U.S. Senate campaign.  Studied government/international affairs at Augustana University.  Originally from Gretna, NE.

Jessica Hanson
(for the primary)  Experience includes executive director of the Nevada Republican Party for Fall 2020 and into 2021, and previously worked for the Republican Party of Florida.  Attended University of Florida.

and note:
According to veteran New Mexico political reporter Joe Monahan, Jay McCleskey, president at McCleskey Media Strategies in Albuquerque, was "the real power in the campaign."  McCleskey served as the lead consultant on Susana Martinez's 2010 and 2014 campaigns for governor and as her chief political advisor during her two terms in office; he has more than 20 years experience working in New Mexico politics.
 
 
See also:
Robert Nott.  "After loss, Ronchetti tells supporters not to give up on New Mexico's promise."  The Santa Fe New Mexican, Nov. 9, 2022.

Daniel J. Chacón.  "Former spokesman who accused Lujan Grisham breaks silence."  The Santa Fe New Mexican, Oct. 28, 2022.
 
Daniel J. Chacón.  "Ronchetti gets roasted on social media."  The Santa Fe New Mexican, Oct. 9, 2022.

Marjorie Childress.  "Big donors giving most of the cash for governor's race."  New Mexico in Depth, Oct. 5, 2022.

Daniel J. Chacón.  "Lujan Grisham, fiancé announce wedding date."  The Santa Fe New Mexican, Apr. 19, 2022.

Nick Wilbur.  "Playing Politics: Ronchetti Sacrifices GOP Convention by Packing the Primary," The Conservative New Mexican, Mar. 3, 2022.

Dan Boyd.  "Gov's campaign paid $87.5K more to ex-staffer."  Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 11, 2021.

Dan Boyd.  "Ronchetti's on-air presence targeted."  Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 6, 2021.







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