If hiding out in the basement and avoiding public appearances worked for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race, why not the New Mexico governor’s race?
That’s the complaint from the Republican candidates who are growing frustrated at former weatherman Mark Ronchetti’s strategy in the race to earn the GOP nomination and take on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham this November.
In an Albuquerque Journal article titled, “GOP hopefuls say Ronchetti skips forums in gov. contest,” reporter Dan McKay writes that Ronchetti’s three opponents are accusing the presumed front-runner of ditching out on “seven recent forums, including four held in the Republican stronghold of southeastern New Mexico,” which is “depriving voters of a chance to compare candidates in person.”
The campaign didn’t even deny that Ronchetti is dodging events. It just thumbed its nose at opponents as they’re jealous for not being as “New Mexico famous” as the weatherman.
Ronchetti spokesman Enrique Knell told the Journal Ronchetti has agreed to televised debates and has accepted “multiple invitations to forums and debates,” but that the candidate “is criss-crossing the state meeting with voters. Their concerns are his top priority, not the complaints of primary opponents seeking legitimacy.”
It’s not a denial, it’s a flex.
And it’s not a politically ignorant one.
Political analyst Brian Sanderoff explained to the Journal that Ronchetti benefits less than his lesser-known opponents by engaging them on the debate stage.
Which is exactly what we wrote earlier this month when Ronchetti didn’t bother campaigning for delegates at the GOP’s pre-primary convention: “Ronchetti is fighting a war of attrition in the hope that by muting the message of his opponents he will come out on top.”
And he very well may (PredictIt has Ronchetti with overwhelming odds of winning the nomination), but what is good for politics is not necessarily good for New Mexicans.
Voters need to know who they’re voting for, and the best way to compare options is to be able to see where candidates differ. That’s not possible if some are limiting their appearances, which is why we wrote that Ronchetti’s snubbing of the convention “signals a fear of the nominating process that has forced the campaign to lean on celebrity name recognition over the merit of his vision.”
This is a case-in-point where good politics is not necessarily good for residents, and it matters because the best candidate to take on MLG in November may not be the TV personality who has never won an election, has never served his country, and has zero executive experience.
- Jay Block Wins GOP Convention, Tops June Ballot
- Playing Politics: Ronchetti Sacrifices GOP Convention by Packing the Primary
- Ronchetti Snubs Party, Chairman Pearce Returns the Favor
Categories: 2022 Governor's Race
It’s the zero executive experience that troubles me. A Governor is not the same as a Congress representative. MLG has been a perfect example of that. I agree that NM urgently needs competence in management.
He told the Los Cruces Sun-News that any of the GOP candidates would be better than MLG, but he thinks he has the best chance to win. Which may be true–name recognition goes a long way–but it’s an open admission that leadership, experience, and policy aren’t driving the ticket. Personality is. Putting someone unprepared in the governor’s mansion would just shift blame for the state’s failures to the GOP.
Might not happen if a team can be formed to support the him. But that would require setting aside ego. Standing up to the constant attacks from the press and legislature is a very hard task that requires a lot of guts.