*Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify a statistic cited in the ad.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — There are only a handful of days left for candidates in the race for the governor’s office, and it’s the last chance to make an impression on voters. In a recent ad Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti’s moves into the home stretch by saying “I believe we can get better” in what the campaign has called “Mark’s final pitch to voters.”
So, what’s the context behind the ad? KRQE News 13 is looking into the gubernatorial candidates’ political advertisements in the run-up to Election Day to help you get the full story. Here are the details behind Ronchetti’s latest ad.
Listing current issues
Ronchetti’s ad starts out by listing existing problems he sees across the state. He mentions “out of control crime,” and the idea that “kids get left behind year after year.”
These are talking points that have appeared in some of Ronchetti’s earlier ads as well. When it comes to crime, the latest ad shows a headline from an Albuquerque Journal article which notes that “statistics show that violent crime in many of areas of New Mexico has risen far faster than elsewhere in the United States in recent years.” The article points out that a key driver of the statewide crime rate is Albuquerque, which last year saw a record number of homicides.
As for kids being “left behind,” Ronchetti is talking about statewide testing, or student assessments. The ad flashes “only 13% at grade-level in math” onscreen while citing National Assessment of Educational Progress 2022 test scores.
Story continues below:
- Fact Check: Ronchetti’s ‘final pitch to voters’
- Fact Check: Lujan Grisham’s record on the economy
- Fact Check: Did the Governor early release a convicted criminal twice before a murder?
- Fact Check: Ad claims Ronchetti would cut funding to police, healthcare, and education
- Fact Check: Ronchetti cites Governor’s misconduct allegations
- Fact Check: Lujan Grisham’s record on public safety funding
- Fact Check: Ronchetti touts education plan, does Lujan Grisham have one?
- Fact Check: Businesses claim help from Lujan Grisham
- Fact Check: Mark Ronchetti’s ad on fentanyl and released prisoners
- Fact Check: Lujan Grisham’s ad on Ronchetti crime ads, kids & education
- Fact Check: Ronchetti’s ‘let voters decide’ abortion ad
- Fact Check: Did Lujan Grisham save thousands of lives?
- Fact Check: Ronchetti’s personal crime ad
The nationwide assessment did reveal that in many districts across the U.S., student test scores dropped, likely due to COVID-19. New Mexico’s test scores dropped too.
The mathematics assessment looks at fourth grade and eighth grade test scores. In 2022, 19.12% of New Mexico’s fourth graders and 12.69% of eighth graders were “proficient” or above.
Ronchetti’s ad cites the the eighth graders’ results from NAEP’s data published online, which Ryan Sabel, the communications director for Ronchetti’s campaign, says is indicative of New Mexico’s students. New Mexico’s results from both fourth graders and eighth graders are low compared to many other states.
After highlighting a few issues facing the state, Ronchetti states “we can get better.” He follows with comments about public safety, schools and the state’s economy.
There aren’t exactly specific facts to check amid the statements Ronchetti makes at the conclusion of the ad. However, KRQE News 13 has fact checked several other Ronchetti campaign advertisements that elaborate on the topics he mentions.
On public safety, Ronchetti discussed a personal crime story and crime-related legislative maneuvers in an advertisement that first aired in early September. On education, Ronchetti has run an ad highlighting his plan to get kids “back on track”. Finally, when it comes to the overall economy, Ronchetti’s campaign has in part discussed its economic policies in response to an advertisement from the Lujan Grisham campaign.