ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján will be filling the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Tom Udall, who will retire at the end of his term. During their run, both Lujan and former meteorologist Mark Ronchetti presented clashing visions for the future of the U.S. healthcare system, responses to climate change, and potential policing reforms.

Retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall endorsed six-term U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján as his successor, while Ronchetti had run a campaign promising to chart a more conservative political course while supporting federal intervention to bolster law enforcement.

In previous debates, Luján touted his support in Congress for the Affordable Care Act that has expanded health insurance coverage in New Mexico and his track record in securing federal funding for defense installations and water infrastructure projects on the Navajo Nation.

Defeated Ronchetti hoped to upset long-time congressman Ben Ray Lujan. Ronchetti campaigned throughout the state this year in all 33 counties in what he called a “conservative grassroots movement.” Ronchetti’s campaign issues included decreasing crime with the help of federal agents, supporting law enforcement, and securing the border. However, Lujan criticized him repeatedly for his support of Trump, running coronavirus-related ads claiming that Ronchetti denies science.

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