SANTA FE – The border with Mexico plays a starring role in a recent burst of television ads released by Republican candidates for governor.
In his first campaign commercial, Mark Ronchetti pledged to create a border strike force and deploy the National Guard to the border.
“You can’t fight crime if you don’t secure the border,” he says in the ad released in late February.
Ronchetti, a former meteorologist for KRQE, also mentioned the border in a second ad this month. The TV spot also mentions New Mexico’s poor national rankings for crime and education.
In each commercial, Ronchetti contrasts himself with Democrats – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and President Joe Biden – rather than other Republican candidates.
Rebecca Dow takes a somewhat different approach in her new ad. An image of Ronchetti appears on TV screens – between shots of Lujan Grisham, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – during Dow’s ad as the narrator mentions “politicians and TV blowhards.”
She also links herself to former President Donald Trump.
“I’m not here to put on a show,” Dow says in the ad. “I’m here to fight radical socialists, defend our constitutional rights and finish President Trump’s wall.”
Dow, a state representative from Truth or Consequences, rides on horseback beside county sheriffs throughout much of the ad.
Ronchetti and Dow are among five candidates seeking the Republican nomination to take on Lujan Grisham this fall.
Also campaigning are Jay Block, a Sandoval County commissioner and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel; Ethel Maharg, an anti-abortion activist and former mayor of Cuba; and Greg Zanetti, a financial adviser and military veteran.
The primary election is June 7. Absentee voting begins May 10.
SPECIAL SESSION: Legislators say they hope next week’s special session is a quick one, perhaps taking just a day.
Two items are on the agenda: economic relief to help New Mexicans with high gas prices and a revised version of the $50 million supplemental spending bill the governor vetoed in March.
But there’s no guarantee of a quick pace, of course. Legislative sessions – special or not – often include surprises.
For comparison, Lujan Grisham called two special sessions last year – one on cannabis legalization that lasted two days and another on redistricting that stretched for 12 days.
In November 2020, however, a special session on COVID-19 relief moved so quickly that legislators finished in just a day.
Dan McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org