Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – Libertarian Karen Bedonie is pushing back on criticism that she will play a spoiler role and keep Republican Mark Ronchetti from overtaking Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in the governor’s race.
But she doesn’t shy away from acknowledging her potential impact on the outcome of the Nov. 8 election.
“The only comfort I find in this race is that man cannot win with me in the way,” Bedonie said in an Oct. 16 video posted to Facebook. “That man cannot win this race. He will never be governor as long as I’m alive and well, and in this race.”
She added that Lujan Grisham is “sweating it … I think we’re going to beat her.”
In a Journal interview Wednesday, Bedonie said she believes she would win the election outright if it weren’t conducted with the use of Dominion voting machines.
She said she has no plans to concede the race or accept the election results because New Mexico uses Dominion machines to help county clerks count ballots.
The machines have been the subject of unfounded conspiracy theories. But they have proven accurate in testing before and after elections in New Mexico, and in automatic recounts triggered by close races.
Some Republicans have pushed for Bedonie to drop out of the race, though voting is already underway and the deadline for parties to fill a vacancy on the ballot was Aug. 30.
Ronchetti spokesman Ryan Sabel said it’s obvious Bedonie is in the race to help Lujan Grisham.
“Unfortunately for her, this poorly thought out plan won’t work,” Sabel said in a written statement. “Real libertarians know what she’s doing and don’t support her, like former governor Gary Johnson, who has endorsed Mark Ronchetti in this race.”
Bedonie is drawing more support from Republicans and independents than Democrats in the race for governor, according to Journal polling.
She’s also a former Republican.
But Bedonie insists she is in the race to win, not play spoiler.
She noted to the Journal that Republicans lost a two-person contest for governor in 2018, when no Libertarian ran.
“I’m just as important as he is,” Bedonie said of Ronchetti.
And in the Facebook video, Bedonie made clear that she has no wish to help the governor.
“I’m not working for that woman,” Bedonie said. “I have nothing to do with her.”
Lujan Grisham led by eight percentage points in the most recent Journal Poll over Ronchetti – 50% to 42%.
Bedonie had about 3% of the vote. Her support was highest among independents at 7%.
She was at 3% among Republicans and 1% among Democrats.