EXCLUSIVE: Ben Luna, a conservative Latino activist and Republican candidate running to flip New Mexico’s Democrat-held Senate seat, told Fox News Digital this week that Hispanic voters are being “blindsided” by Democrat policies that don’t align with their values as a community.
Luna, a political outsider who has never held elected office, has served for the past year as the state director for the New Mexico LEXIT movement, a faith-based organization aimed at educating and empowering Latino Americans with conservative values to leave the Democrat Party.
He believes Latinos are “being awakened” to just how contrasting their values are to the policies being pushed by Democrats, and that such a shift could lead New Mexico, a state with a population made up of nearly 50% Hispanics, to flip red in November.
“The big reason is forcing trans ideologies, and forcing it in schools. That is a deal-breaker for every parent, but especially for Latinos and Hispanics throughout the nation,” Luna said when asked why Latinos were abandoning Democrats, who have traditionally been able to depend on getting a large portion of the community’s support.
“Once you come in, and you have almost, in a sense, bridged the gap to violate the conscience of our children — once you do that, the only result we will ever live with is that you never have access to our children ever again,” he said.
Recent polling suggests Republicans are continuing to gain ground with Latinos, a trend that first gained widespread attention in 2021. One poll even showed President Biden, who won 59% of the Latino vote in 2020, trailing former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical 2024 rematch among the demographic.
According to Luna, Democrats have created what he called a “nonstop movement” that won’t end until those implementing such policies are voted out of office and the education system is fixed.
“That’s the dangerous part, and if you kind of look at the parallels of history, that’s what communists did, that’s what socialists did. They got access to the children and forced their ideologies and then produced a generation that they could use in the future. And that’s what we’re seeing in the streets of America,” he said.
Luna said one of the movement’s priorities was to reach Democrats in Albuquerque, a stronghold for the party, as well as in the northern parts of the state, and share information about what legislation Democrats are actually supporting, something he says often goes unseen and unheard of.
“Once they hear about it, they’re like, ‘My party passed that?’ Then they start to distance themselves. We almost have instant volunteers,” he added.
Although elections analysts and party pollsters view New Mexico as a safe seat for Democrats, Luna argues results of recent elections in the state show victory well within reach for Republicans.
“Something very, very interesting that happened in 2022 is we lost a lot of state House seats by less than 100 votes, and that was because they shut down our economy. [Democrats] stopped everything here. We had some of the worst Draconian policies and mandates being forced on New Mexicans,” he said, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luna claimed such policies drove people to leave New Mexico, and that topping them now with transgender ideology and bypassing parental consent would drive those still in the state toward Republicans.
“I always say this about Republican states and blue states: We in blue states have a lot to fight for. Like we have a lot. And it’s nobody fighting for us. We have to stand for ourselves,” he said.
Luna told Fox that he intends to bring his knowledge of, and high esteem for, America’s founding principles to office if elected, and that he would focus heavily on securing the southern border amid the massive influx of migrants under the Biden administration.
“I think the biggest issue is really our border … With Texas fortifying their borders and then Arizona doing their best as well, it makes us wide open, like a funnel. And so we get a lot of the crime that comes along with the drug pushing,” he said.
“If we don’t have borders, then we’re technically not a nation. And from seeing what happened to Israel by just only a thousand that came across their border, a lot of people are actually bracing themselves for something to happen in New Mexico and America,” he said.
Luna currently faces no other major candidates in the race for the Republican Senate nomination, and would likely face incumbent two-term Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich in the general election.
The primary is scheduled for June 4, and the filing deadline for candidates to enter the race is Feb. 6.