PSA: Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Luján aren’t cousins
Rep. Ben Ray Luján responded, calling out Mark Ronchetti’s ignorance.
It should go unsaid, but after a video by New Mexico Republican Senate candidate Mark Ronchetti surfaced in which he said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Rep. Ben Ray Luján are cousins, the nation may need a reminder.
Just because Hispanics or Latinos share a last name, it doesn’t mean they are related.
They’re not cousins, but Ronchetti’s video needs a bit of unpacking to further understand his ignorance.
In a July 31 video titled, “Mark Responds to Governor Lujan Grisham,” Ronchetti delivers a three-minute long response to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s endorsement of Ray Luján, in which he refers to the two as cousins twice.
In his video, Ronchetti called for a level playing field, saying he’s sick of the “self-serving games” in New Mexico’s politics. Lujan Grisham endorsed Ray Luján last week, and Ronchetti believes nepotism is involved.
He mentions Lujan Grisham’s subsequent public health order, saying she is using it in Ray Luján’s favor, as it bans all in-person political activity.
“Lujan Grisham is trying to use her public health order to tip the playing field, in favor of her opponent, her cousin, Ben Ray Lujan. She officially endorsed him on Wednesday. Then the very next day she suddenly says her health order bans in-person political activity. Things like fundraisers and door-to-door campaigning,” he said.
Ronchetti then refers to Ben Ray Luján and Lujan Grisham as cousins again, so we know the first time wasn’t a mistake.
“The Governor’s endorsement of protests during Covid while banning candidates from contacting voters is not only unconstitutional but dangerous for our democracy. No elected leader should use their official position to tip the scales of an election,” Ronchetti wrote along with his video.
In response, Rep. Ray Luján tweeted his dismay at the unfounded connection between himself and the governor, saying, “while I respect my friend, our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, we’re not cousins.”
“This may come as a surprise to you,” Ray Luján continued, “But not all Hispanic people with the same last name are related.
“C’mon. Do better,” tweeted Lujan Grisham.
In an attempt to defend his miscategorization, Ronchetti has referenced six-year-old articles which do the same, but this is no excuse.
Both parties have stepped forward and said they are not related. Ronchetti has only further highlighted his ignorance of the hispanic and Latinx communities, a large New Mexico demographic.
He will face Rep. Ray Luján for the Senate seat in November.