NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Mark Ronchetti has won the Republican primary for governor and will challenge incumbent Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in November. The former television meteorologist defeated four other candidates Tuesday.

KRQE political expert Gabe Sanchez believes voters could start seeing the first wave of ads from both candidates as early as Wednesday morning. Sanchez says Lujan Grisham is the early favorite in the race, but it could be tight when it comes time for the November elections. In recent years it has been very rare for a governor not to serve a second term, which would work in Lujan Grisham’s favor.

Ronchetti says his lack of political experience is what makes him the best candidate to be New Mexico’s next governor. “We have big change that is needed across this state. Unfortunately, we have a governor who has decided that she will look out for the best interests of the elites in Santa Fe instead of you. That day stops today,” said Ronchetti. He joined the Republican Gubernatorial race last October and quickly out-fundraised his Republican opponents.

It has been an interesting race between state representative Rebecca Dow and Ronchetti. There have been lots of pointed campaign ads between the two with plenty of name-callings. Tuesday night during her concession speech, Dow urged her supporters to rally behind Ronchetti in hopes of making Lujan Grisham a one-term governor.

Policy-wise, Ronchetti zeroed in on border security, crime, and inflation in his campaign. Ronchetti has run for statewide office before, he lost to Congressman Ben Ray Lujan in the race for the United States Senate in 2020 by six points.