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Wed Nov 4, 2020, 11:37 AM

(N.M.) Lujn edges Ronchetti in U.S. Senate race

Ben Ray LujŠn, the six-term U.S. representative from Nambť, captured a hard-fought victory over Republican Mark Ronchetti and Libertarian Bob Walsh in the race for the U.S. Senate, keeping the seat in the Democratic column.

For Democrats, the victory allows their party to maintain its control of New Mexicoís Senate delegation amid a bitterly partisan environment in Washington. For LujŠn, it represents a step up in a long political career during which he served New Mexicoís 3rd Congressional District over the past 12 years. Before that he was a member of the Public Regulation Commission.

Additionally, LujŠn will become the first Hispanic U.S. senator from the state since Democratic Sen. Joseph Montoya left office in 1977. According to the official vote count from the Secretary of Stateís Office late Tuesday night, LujŠn won 51 percent of the vote compared to 46 percent for Ronchetti. Walsh got 3 percent.

LujŠn, who succeeds the retiring Tom Udall in the Senate, emphasized his support for clean energy and environmental protection initiatives. He also called for the Affordable Care Act to be held intact, arguing efforts by President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans to overturn the landmark Obama-era legislation would increase premiums and take away protections for preexisting conditions.

Meanwhile, Ronchetti, who is best known as the former chief meteorologist for KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, ... portrayed himself as a law-and-order candidate who favored Trumpís deployment of federal law enforcement to Albuquerque and would effectively combat crime in the city.


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