US Senate hopefuls in New Mexico OK 1 debate, fight on more

New Mexico

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) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján and Republican Mark Ronchetti have only agreed to participate in one televised debate in New Mexico’s U.S. Senate race.

And their campaigns are pointing figures at the other for refusing to join more.

The campaigns recently announced they will take part in a debate sponsored by KOAT-TV and the Albuquerque Journal.

But Ronchetti has accepted offers for debates sponsored by Albuquerque-area outlets KOB-TV and KRQE-TV, something Luján has shunned.

Instead, Luján has accepted an invitation from PBS-affiliate KNME-TV. Ronchetti called KNME-TV a “liberal front-group.”

The station is non-partisan and its weekly “New Mexico in Focus” shows regularly host Republican guests.

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