October 15, 2019

Federal candidates raise big money ahead of next year’s elections

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Some federal candidates continued to raise large amounts of money in the latest campaign finance reports.

The campaign finance reports due on Tuesday included money raised and spent between July 1 and September 30.

Democratic Senate candidate Ben Ray Luján raised the most money in the quarter, bringing in over $1 million. The U.S. Representative seeking to replace Tom Udall, who preceded him as as the representative for the 3rd Congressional District, has over $1.6 million cash-on-hand.

Luján’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, raised $205,000 and finished with $85,000 cash-on-hand.

Former Trump official and Republican Senate candidate Gavin Clarkson raised just under $170,000, including almost $8,000 in loans to his campaign, and has nearly $180,000 cash-on-hand.

Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich, Clarkson’s opponent in the primary, raised $191,000, which includes $100,000 which Rich loaned to his own campaign. Rich was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in 2018, in which he lost to Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich.

2nd Congressional District

Incumbent Xochitl Torres Small raised $588,000 for her reelection bid in the southern New Mexico seat and has nearly $1.5 million cash-on-hand. The Democrat is running in the state’s most conservative district, and is facing a number of potentially well-funded Republican candidates.

Oil executive and lobbyist Claire Chase entered the race on August 27. Between then and the end of September, the Republican raised over $510,000 and finished the period with $475,000 cash-on-hand. 

Former State Rep. Yvette Herrell, the Republican who lost to Torres Small in 2018, raised $140,000 and has $390,000 cash-on-hand. 

And Republican Las Cruces businessman Chrys Mathys raised $53,200—most of which came from loans from the candidate to his campaign. Mathys has loaned $226,000 of his own money to the campaign.

The three will face off in June’s primary, while Torres Small currently does not have a challenger in the Democratic primary.

3rd Congressional District

A dozen candidates are currently running to replace Luján in the northern New Mexico district.

Once again, former CIA officer Valerie Plame, a Democrat, raised the most money.

Plame raised nearly $450,000 and finished the campaign with just over $425,000 cash-on-hand. Plame spent over $215,000, including over $100,000 on digital advertising.

Other candidates include 1st Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna, who raised $118,000 and finished with $289,000 cash-on-hand, Santa Fe Attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez who raised $205,000 and finished with $300,000 cash-on-hand and former elections official John Blair who raised nearly $150,000 since entering the race on August 18. Blair finished the campaign finance period with $137,000 cash-on-hand.

State Rep. Joseph Sanchez raised $53,000 and finished the period with oer $67,000 cash-on-hand.

Other Democrats in the race either did not report their reports by press time or raised less than $50,000 in the period.

Three Republicans are running, none of whom raised more than $5,000 in the time period.

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland raised just under $225,000 and finished with just over $200,000 cash-on-hand.

Her Republican opponent, Brett Kokinadis, raised over $10,000 including loans to his campaign.