- Associated Press - Thursday, July 30, 2020

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) - A GOP U.S. senatorial candidate in New Mexico is joining top Republicans in Congress in rebuffing President Donald Trump’s suggestions the 2020 elections be delayed.

Mark Ronchetti’s campaign manager Jeff Glassburner said Thursday the Albuquerque Republican does not support moving the election from November 3rd.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the election date is set in stone and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said the election “should go forward” as planned.

Trump suggested the delay as he pushed unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic would result in fraud. But shifting Election Day is virtually impossible.

Former television weatherman Ronchetti is facing Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján for an open Senate seat in New Mexico.

The Republican Party of New Mexico, however, is defending Trump and said the president was only raising questions.

GOP former state lawmaker Yvette Herrell, who is seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small of the swing, southern New Mexico seat, said she shares Trump’s concern about “last-minute universal mail-in balloting.” She cited a July story from The Associated Press that showed increased mail-in balloting in the New York primaries led to delays in tallying votes.

“It is the responsibility of Congress to be aware of any potential threat to our country’s election integrity, and to deal with potential threats in an appropriate and timely manner,” Alexis Martinez Johnson, a GOP U.S. House candidate in northern New Mexico, said in a statement.

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