Democrat for US Senate releases ad around dad’s cancer fight

Local Elections

FILE – In this July 25, 2019, file photo, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference in Washington. New Mexico is deciding on final contenders in open races for a U.S. Senate seat and a northern congressional slot that last changed hands a dozen years ago, as the sun sets on a Democratic political dynasty that emerged from a territorial 19th century legislature. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) – Democrat U.S. hopeful Ben Ray Luján released a television ad Tuesday touting his support for expanding Medicaid while pointing to his father’s fight with cancer.

The commercial airing statewide highlights Luján’s father, the late Speaker of the New Mexico House and former ironworker Ben Luján, and his access to insurance.

But the younger Luján said the lack of affordable health care forces some New Mexico residents to make tough decisions to pay bills.

“When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, mom and dad were fortunate to have insurance and good care for him during those trying days for our family,” Luján said in the ad. “That’s why I’ve worked in Congress to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare, and why I’ll bring that fight to the Senate to ensure every New Mexican can receive the affordable medical care they need.”

Luján’s Republican opponent, Mark Ronchetti, said Luján supports a government takeover of health care that would outlaw employer-based insurance plans and limit doctor choice.

“I’m proud to support protecting preexisting conditions and policies which will lower the cost of health insurance, health procedures, and prescription drugs,” Ronchetti said.

Luján and Ronchetti are seeking an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico.

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