On June 2, New Mexicans will go to the polls and cast their primary votes for the 2020 election. The Daily Citizen recently caught up with Vince Torres, the executive director of the Focus on the Family affiliated Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. Here’s what he had to share about the state’s upcoming election and what it means for the state.
Is it difficult to find candidates that endorse conservative and biblical values?
Though New Mexico is known for leaning towards the liberal end of the political spectrum, our citizens are much more conservative than people believe. There are Republican and Democrat party members that both support the sanctity of life and religious freedom. We have some impressive men and women running in our state and federal races, and we are confident that 2020 will be a great election year for pro-life, pro-family candidates.
What are some of the issues that are really impacting New Mexicans? What can you share with us?
New Mexico is infamously known as the late-term abortion capital of the country. With few protections in place, abortions in our state are legally performed up to the moment of birth for any reason. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been traveling to New Mexico from all over the country to circumvent the abortion bans in their home states.
In 2019, pro-abortion officials attempted to codify elective abortion up-to-birth in New Mexico state law. In response, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, in partnership with Right to Life Committee of New Mexico and New Mexico Alliance for Life, mobilized the pro-life and faith communities, and the bill was soundly defeated in the Democratic-led Senate on an 18-24 vote.
What can you share about the candidates running for office in New Mexico?
Races for the State Senate and House feature many fresh, young faces making their political debut. Meanwhile, in our federal races, we have a combination of experience and youth.
What about the Senate race in New Mexico?
More national attention needs to be given to New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate race. The Republican primary features three candidates—Elisa Martinez, Mark Ronchetti and Gavin Clarkson—one of whom will face off against Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan in November.
Elisa Martinez is the founder and Executive Director of New Mexico Alliance for Life. If elected, Elisa would be the first Native American elected to the U.S. Senate and the first woman to represent New Mexico in the U.S. Senate. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and this is her first run for public office.
Mark Ronchetti is the former chief meteorologist for a local news station. He is a graduate of Washington State University and this is his first run for public office.
Gavin Clarkson is a former college professor who also served in the U.S. Department of the Interior. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation and earned his doctorate from Harvard Business School. Gavin was the Republican candidate for New Mexico Secretary of State in 2018.
The Democrat candidate for Senate is Ben Ray Lujan, who currently serves as a Representative for New Mexico’s 3rd District. A close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Lujan serves as Deputy Speaker and is currently the only Democrat in the Senate primary.
New Mexicans will have the opportunity to determine the final two candidates for the Senate seat on Tuesday June 2.