2022 Governor's Race

Ronchetti Slaps Back — Hits Dow On Liberal Voting Record

Mark Ronchetti’s “Trust” ad attacks state legislator on immigration votes

The top two candidates in the Republican gubernatorial race are turning up the heat in the last month of the GOP primary campaign. State Rep. Rebecca Dow this week accused opponent Mark Ronchetti of being a “climate change activist” and a “never Trumper” who “quit the GOP” — none of which turned out to be entirely true

The ad prompted a response from Ronchetti and showed Republican voters that the presumed frontrunner has some spunk after all.

In a new ad, titled “Trust,” Ronchetti took Dow to task on the very issue she claims makes her a “true grit” Conservative: immigration. And he did it citing her own voting record.

“Politicians love looking tough, especially on border security. But their records tell the truth, like politician Rebecca Dow. 

Talks tough now, but Rebecca Dow voted to give illegal immigrants taxpayer funded stimulus checks — not once, but twice. And Dow was one of only five Republican votes to give job licensees to illegal immigrants. 

Rewarding illegal immigration: Politician Rebecca Dow. Trust the act, or trust the record?”

— ”Trust” ad, Mark Ronchetti for Governor campaign

As a gift to politicos, Ronchetti’s camp made fact-checking the ad’s accusations easy: they posted the news articles and voting records online, at DowRecord.com.

The “stimulus for illegals” story was national news, picked up by The Hill (cited by Ronchetti), as well the Associated Press and CBS News

“New Mexico lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bipartisan coronavirus relief bill that will deliver a one-time $1,200 check to all types of unemployed workers and up to $50,000 for certain businesses. The bill also provides smaller stimulus checks to immigrants without legal status in the country and dependents, as well as additional funds for food banks, virus testing and contact tracing efforts” (emphasis added). 

— CBS News, Nov. 25, 2020

Even the Albuquerque Journal covered it — though it was buried on page eight, as a bullet point, at the end of the story, and rather vaguely worded:

“$5 million to provide checks of up to $750 to low-income households who — because of immigration status or some other factor — didn’t receive a federal stimulus check this year.” 

— ABQJournal.com, Nov. 26, 2020

Ronchetti also cited Dow’s vote granting drivers professional* licenses to illegals, from Senate Bill 137, which states the following:

“It is the policy of this state that a person is eligible for occupational or professional licensure or certification for which that person is qualified, regardless of the person’s citizenship or immigration status.” 

— SB 137, February 2020, New Mexico Legislature

Ronchetti has nearly twice the fundraising as Dow, and more than all five gubernatorial candidates combined. With more than five weeks until the GOP primary, the question is how much of Ronchetti’s war chest will be expended fighting off primary challengers.

Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham has raised over $5 million, none of which will be spent defending herself in the primary since she is running unopposed.

* correction (h/t Enrique)

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