Former Congressman Bill Redmond, left, and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mark Ronchetti Tuesday morning at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Roundtable participants listen to Brian D’Anna, president and CEO of Techsource, Inc. Tuesday morning during a campaign event for U.S. Senate candidate Brian D’Anna. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Heather Muck and Republican candidate for Los Alamos County Council David Reagor chat at a reception for U.S. Senate candidate Mark Ronchetti Tuesday morning at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Jolyn McTeigue, right, welcomes attendees to a campaign reception Tuesday morning for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Ronchetti at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Former State Rep. Jim Hall, left, chats with Kenneth Lee during Tuesday morning’s reception for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mark Ronchetti. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Mark Ronchetti, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, listens to participants in a roundtable on education and jobs Tuesday morning at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mark Ronchetti visited Los Alamos Tuesday morning for a roundtable on education and jobs followed by a reception for supporters. The roundtable, which was held at Cottonwood on the Greens, was attended by representatives from local businesses, UNM-LA, the home school community, the chamber of commerce and economic development advocates. The event was emceed by former Congressman Bill Redmond who is the county chair for the Ronchetti campaign.
Ronchetti told the roundtable group that if the education system is not good and you don’t have safe streets, it’s tough to have economic opportunity.
“I think we have two real big opportunities to continue to expand from what happens in the mission here in Los Alamos and Sandia into the private sector, and I’d love to get your opinions on that and where you think that might be going for us – what you think we need to do as a state,” he said. “My biggest concern is making sure that you’re supported here. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you fall on, this is an area that we need to grow and foster and continue to have economic opportunities spring out of.”
Ronchetti recalled the biggest story of his career starting out in New Mexico after coming to the state in 1998.
“It was the spring of 2000 and I was working the weekends on a Sunday and we come up here and there was a controlled burn that they felt was getting a little frisky but it wasn’t crazy. Then, as many of you know, as we worked into the next week, you could see some fingers of smoke on the ridgeline but then a huge fire broke out in Cerro Grande and took off here,” he said.
Ronchetti said he will never forget driving through Los Alamos National Laboratory property with fires everywhere.
“We had cameras on our shoulders. We went into some of the neighborhoods and I will never forget that there was a guy in an old water truck that was driving around trying to put out his neighbors houses. There would be one house on fire and then another couple that maybe were untouched. It’s one of those things I will never forget. I came in for Las Conchas as well and I’ve been up here for some other events,” he said.
Ronchetti said Los Alamos is a tremendous area, noted the pride in the community and called it one of the jewels of the state.