FACT CHECK: Pro-Ronchetti PAC not connected to Rio Grande Foundation

On Friday, a political action committee (PAC) calling itself “Nuevo Rio Grande” sent an email to delegates to the state Republican convention endorsing gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti.

Christina M. Brenner from the group wrote in a February 18, 2021, email, “New Mexicans have one real, reliable choice for governor this November: Mark Ronchetti.” 

She went on to tout Ronchetti’s employment as a television weatherman and wrote, “Nuevo Rio Grande PAC has chosen to move forward, full steam, in support of Mark Ronchetti’s efforts to not only free New Mexico, but to help its people build a better tomorrow.” 

Many delegates saw the email alarmed that it appeared the reputable Rio Grande Foundation (RGF) had endorsed the candidate. But “Nuevo Rio Grande” is in no way affiliated with RGF, despite it using the Foundation’s same logo, showing a river swishing through a cutout of the New Mexico state shape. But instead of the Foundation’s turquoise image, Nuevo Rio Grande PAC used the same logo in red. 

Rio Grande Foundation’s logo. Credit: Rio Grande Foundation website.
Email sign-off on Christina M. Brenner’s email sent to delegates on February 18, 2021.

As confirmed by the Piñon Post, Christina Brenner is the spouse of Patrick Brenner, who is RGF’s vice president.

“Patrick Brenner obviously works for the Foundation. He happens to support Ronchetti, which is fine, but he really stepped in it big time. And I told him in no uncertain terms if he’s going to do a PAC, he needs to brand it differently,” said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing. 

Gessing further distanced the organization from the PAC in a statement released via social media:

Recently, an email was sent out to GOP delegates to the upcoming pre-primary convention that included a logo and various branding that closely-resembled that of the Rio Grande Foundation. The group was calling itself “Nuevo Rio Grande” and its website (since removed) was at: https://nuevonewmexico.com/.

This organization was NOT affiliated with the Rio Grande Foundation and we have asked the organization to rebrand their efforts (they are in the process of doing so).

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2 thoughts on “FACT CHECK: Pro-Ronchetti PAC not connected to Rio Grande Foundation”

  1. Ukraine is on fire. Canada has fallen to tyranny, turd o is following what the feds did here.
    Who cares about logos at this point. Keep moving the deck chairs on the Titanic, instead of focusing on what is important.
    o’Biden just said he is fighting for freedom and the american people will have to pay for it (regarding ukraine).
    pay? As in our lives? Step back and look at the bigger picture everyone.
    More illegitimacy from criminals posing as public servants.

  2. Hmm… Nuevo Rio Grande PAC supporting GOP candidate but using the actual words “BUILD” and “BETTER” in their slogan. Smacks of RHINO endorsement. Mark should distance himself from such groups. And yes the bigger picture is REALLY BAD (beyond NM) but REALLY BAD within NM:
    _ CRT to be shoved down kids throats & likely demonize angry parents (again)
    _ crazy progressive spending/lack of accountability/corruption/catch & release
    _ you name it, its still happening to our state/state’s future – save for the recent GOP victories

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