2020 New Mexico Senate Candidate Guide

Ben Ray Luján (Democrat)
Ben Ray Luján (Democrat)
Mark Ronchetti (Republican)
Mark Ronchetti (Republican)

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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT- Support Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted against multiple efforts to repeal ACA. “I will not allow the GOP to destroy protections for pre-existing conditions and steal insurance from millions of Americans.”

Mark Ronchetti – No. Opposes universal health care. But has said: “We want to cover pre-existing conditions and will protect Medicaid.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for HR1 to “restore transparency in our government [and] reduce the role of dark money in politics.”

Mark Ronchetti – No position found.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. U.S. is “experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change … extreme fires, severe storms, and record drought.” Voted to keep U.S. in Paris Climate Agreement.

Mark Ronchetti – Unclear. “Climate change is a real phenomenon that needs to be addressed.” Said it wasn’t causing current fires. “We can’t restrict our economy when countries like China and India continue unrestricted pollution.”

CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Green New Deal co-sponsor. Worked on federal standard for renewable energy with low-carbon initiatives for environment, consumers and economy.

Mark Ronchetti – No. Opposes Green New Deal. Bills to reduce emissions empower “an unaccountable group of bureaucrats to inflict themselves on … New Mexico.”

CONTRACEPTION – Require health plans to cover birth control?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. “I will continue working to protect reproductive freedoms for all women across New Mexico and the nation.”

Mark Ronchetti – No position found. Supports the Hyde Amendment, which bars use of federal funds to pay for abortion.

COURTS — SUPREME COURT – Support Senate voting before election on Ginsburg replacement?

Ben Ray Luján – Probable no. Baited Ronchetti asking him where he stood on it. But no direct stand found. See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

Mark Ronchetti – No position found. See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

COVID-19 – Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?

Ben Ray Luján – No. “The Trump administration failed to bring COVID-19 testing to scale.” Opposes cut to additional unemployment benefits.

Mark Ronchetti – Yes. “Took the action necessary to help small businesses.” Beyond testing, no national plan needed. Responsibly reopen economy.

EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Ben Ray Luján – Likely no. Voted against reauthorizing program to help low-income families pay private school tuition.

Mark Ronchetti – Yes. Supports public charter schools and school choice.

ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?

Ben Ray Luján – Tighten. Voted to prohibit offshore drilling and protect Arctic Refuge, and mining around the Grand Canyon and Chaco Canyon.

Mark Ronchetti – Loosen. Opposes bans on fracking and supports leasing public land for oil and gas production.

FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?

Ben Ray Luján – Tighten. Voted against rollbacks of Dodd-Frank regulations. Voted to restore and increase authority of CFPB.

Mark Ronchetti -No position found.

GUN RULES –Enact more restrictive legislation on firearms?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted to require background checks for private firearms transfers. Co-sponsored Assault Weapons Ban to “get weapons of war off the streets.”

Mark Ronchetti – No. Strong Second Amendment supporter. “A law-abiding citizen who responsibly handles their guns doesn’t need the government to come knocking on their door.” NRA backing.

IMMIGRATION – Create path to citizenship for DACA participants brought to the U.S. as children?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for DREAM Act. Wants a path to citizenship for DREAMers as well as migrants and refugees as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

Mark Ronchetti – No position found. Opposes amnesty: “It incentivizes even more illegal immigration. … Allow them to apply in their home country and when legally approved move to the U.S.”

IMMIGRATION – Support border walls?

Ben Ray Luján – No. “I’ve never supported the president’s wall.”

Mark Ronchetti – Yes. “President Trump is right to build this wall.”

IMPEACHMENT – Support calling witnesses and indicting Trump on impeachment charges?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for impeachment. Ignoring Trump’s “abuses of power would be abdicating the oath we made to protect this country and our Constitution.”

Mark Ronchetti – No. Says motivated to run in part because Luján “has chosen partisan politics at every turn, from impeachment to voting no on critical border funding.”

IRAN – Oppose military attacks on Iran without congressional approval?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted against it. Trump put “our country in harm’s way when he brought the U.S. to the brink of war with Iran.”

Mark Ronchetti – No position found.

LABOR – Support expansion of union rights?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Mark Ronchetti – Mostly no. Supports “right to work” laws that  eliminate the ability of unions to mandate dues for workers they represent?

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Ben Ray Luján – Legal. Voted against multiple anti-abortion bills including one that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. “I believe strongly in a woman’s right to choose.”

Mark Ronchetti – Ban. Is “strongly pro-life.” Believes unborn babies “have souls, can feel emotions, and are every bit a human being.”

LGBT RIGHTS – Support Equality Act protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for Equality Act. Wants to “ensure every person is treated with … respect no matter who they are, who they love …”

Mark Ronchetti – No position found.

MARIJUANA – Keep illegal or decriminalize?

Ben Ray Luján – Decriminalize. Co-sponsored bill to federally decriminalize. Pushed bill to remove marijuana as a deportable offense.

Mark Ronchetti – No position found.

MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25/hour?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for Raise the Wage Act. “It’s time to raise the wage to boost local economies and help our communities make ends meet.”

Mark Ronchetti – Unclear. Says will “[push] for fair wages” but no position found on minimum wage.

POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Voted for George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 “to provide justice for … victims of police brutality.”

Mark Ronchetti – No. Believes “police officers are good people risking their lives to protect our community and have earned our support.”

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID – Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income individuals?

Ben Ray Luján – Yes. Co-sponsored bill to make two years of community college free to good students. Americans need chance to get degree without “taking on a mountain of debt.”

Mark Ronchetti – No position found. Does not support Green New Deal, including its proposed legislation on free tuition.

TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Ben Ray Luján – No. Voted against the tax cuts as “an example of fiscal irresponsibility [that] is skewed against American families.”

Mark Ronchetti – No position found. Against government implementing “higher taxes and reaching deeper into our lives.”

VOTING RIGHTS – Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Ben Ray Luján -No. Co-sponsored Voting Rights Act of 2019. Sponsored Native American Voting Rights Act to remove “burdensome” requirements.

Mark Ronchetti – No position found.

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org  offer guides to local races.