LAS CRUCES, NM- Dr. Gavin Clarkson threw down the gauntlet Monday evening during a radio interview, challenging his primary opponent Mark Ronchetti to a series of debates in the closing weeks of the race for the Republican nomination for New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat.

“Conservative voters deserve a chance to evaluate the candidates six feet apart or on a split-screen,” Clarkson said, “to decide whom they can trust to stand with President Trump. One of us is a battle-tested swamp warrior President Trump hired to serve in his administration, the other is a former Republican who said he left the GOP because Trump stole a part of his soul.” 

Clarkson released footage Monday morning in which Ronchetti formally renounced his affiliation with the Republican Party in March of 2019 due to his dissatisfaction with President Trump. 

“It seems Mr. Ronchetti failed to predict this video revealing his true feelings would surface and  cause such a storm of consternation.” Clarkson noted that Ronchetti had previously lashed out at Trump supporters questioning his loyalty as “little Facebook trolls who are in their parents’ basement with their Cheeto-stained fingers.”  

Ronchetti opened his remarks at a global warming evangelism event in March of 2019 saying, “I’m a Christian conservative who used to be a Republican until The Orange One, then things…I’m afraid that has taken a part of my soul, and that’s not coming back.”

Clarkson offered to do one debate in Spanish and is requesting at least three English language debates: one televised debate, one radio debate, and one live stream debate.

“As a business professor with a law degree and a background in technology and federal legislative and executive branch experience,” Clarkson said, “I’m the candidate with the ideas and energy to really make a difference for New Mexico in the U.S. Senate and help President Trump flip New Mexico red in November.”