Grisham wins second term as NM governor

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham turned away a spirited challenge from Republican Mark Ronchetti to win reelection to a second term as governor, weathering attacks focused on crime, education and the state’s economy.

Republican Mark Ronchetti spoke to his supporters Tuesday night, acknowledging that he was unlikely to prevail in the race. As of 9:45 p.m., Lujan Grisham had a 6 point lead with about 52% of the votes cast.

The contest between Lujan Grisham and Ronchetti was a combative one, especially in its final stages, with the GOP candidate blasting the governor for being out of touch with New Mexicans’ daily struggles with high crime rates and rising costs.

Lujan Grisham, for her part, criticized Ronchetti for lacking the policy chops to handle complex issues and for seeking to restrict New Mexicans’ access to abortion services.

This year’s race was one of the most expensive races in New Mexico history, as Lujan Grisham reported last week having raised $12.5 million for her reelection bid.

Ronchetti, for his part, raised nearly $9.3 million since announcing his campaign in October 2021.

Both candidates have used that money to launch a steady barrage of TV ads aimed at winning over a winning number of New Mexico’s roughly 1.3 million voters, while also criscrossing the state in the final sprint to Election Day.

Amid a barrage of GOP attack ads, Lujan Grisham’s campaign was bolstered in the final sprint to Election Day with visits from both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who touted the governor as a key ally to the Biden administration.

Meanwhile, Ronchetti got a helping hand on the campaign trail from three Republican governors — Ron DeSantis of Florida, Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, and Doug Ducey of Arizona — who traveled to New Mexico to stump for the GOP nominee.

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