UPDATED 3:10 PM
Mark Ronchetti knocked it out of the park Tuesday night. Results so far in the GOP gubernatorial primary put the former weatherman at near 8% in a five-person race. That’s about a point and a half higher than his 2020 U.S. Senate primary finish (despite being a three-man race), and 7 points higher than the last contested GOP primary race for governor, when Susana Martinez took almost 51% in a five-man race in 2010.
But now Ronchetti’s opponents want him to grovel.
Rebecca Dow, who got to wear the “presumed frontrunner” crown for all of three months in 2021 before Ronchetti announced his candidacy, told The Albuquerque Journal on Election Night that she is still offended that Ronchetti campaigned against her.
“There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Mark Ronchetti went a step too far. But we’ve got to rally around conservative values.”— Rebecca Dow, “Ronchetti claims GOP nomination in governor race,” June 7, 2022
County commissioner Jay Block, who will finish with about 10% of the vote, had similar sentiments: “After any tough election, you’re going to have to mend fences.”
“[Block] stopped short of pledging to endorse Ronchetti, saying the two of them would have to talk after election day if Ronchetti were to win the GOP nomination.”— ABQ Journal
Losing sucks, but the woe is me victim narrative doesn’t work. It’s damaging to the party, for one, but it’s also undeserved.
Dow and Block finished in a very distant second- and barely mentionable fourth-place, respectively. They combined for half as many votes as Ronchetti, losing by more than 40 percentage points.
By those numbers, one could argue that Ronchetti could have stayed home, not campaigned at all, and still come out ahead. But hindsight is 20/20.
With election results on hand, it’s easy to say that Ronchetti went overboard in his ads against Dow, but it’s also true that Ronchetti’s margin was widened because of his aggressive campaign.
This is politics, not poetry. You fight every battle like you’re losing, you don’t take your lumps lying down, and you take nothing for granted.
Dow struck first blood, and she did it with accusations that have no basis in fact. You can’t fault Ronchetti for fighting back, especially when he had the courtesy to hit Dow with her own voting record.
If Dow had finished in the 30s, maybe she would have a case for saying that Ronchetti hurt her. But at 15% of the vote, she needs exit stage left and get behind the #FireMLG movement. If she wants to run for political office again, understand that you should give as good as you get, but you also need to be able to take it as well as you dish it out. Don’t pick a fight you can’t finish.
As for Block, his hurt feelings prove that indifference is the greatest insult.
During the May 20 KOAT debate, Block accused Ronchetti of being unethical for hiring Jay McCleskey as a campaign consultant. Ronchetti volleyed, pointing out that Block himself tried to hire McCleskey and dismissing the attempted hit as insider baseball that voters don’t care about.
After that, Ronchetti didn’t think twice about Block.
Block called Ronchetti an “amateur” for wanting a special legislative session to suspend the gas tax. He went after Ronchetti for not Tweeting fast enough about Planned Parenthood, for being a “complete loser” and “not a good person,” for being bad at geography and for allegedly ridiculing service members (again without evidence).
Ronchetti didn’t mention Block at all.
So what fence, exactly, does Ronchetti need to mend? Has the peak soy intersectional victimhood-at-all-costs mentality of social and academic Leftism infiltrated Conservatism to the point that ignoring a footnote in a political race warrants an apology?
And people wonder why Republicans don’t win in New Mexico.
UPDATE: At 1:33 PM, Block issued the following statement via Twitter:
“I have reached out to many candidates who won and lost last night from the top of the ticket to local races. Let’s get behind them all!!! While the results may not have been what we wanted, we will work across the state to help elect conservative candidates up & down the ballot.”— 4th Place GOP gubernatorial candidate Jay Block
Read his full statement here: @ElectJayCBlock
Categories: 2022 Governor's Race