October 10, 2017

Lujan Grisham, Pearce raise seven-figures for guv race

With a big gubernatorial race on tap in 13 months, two high-profile candidates reported Monday each bringing in more than $1 million in contributions in the last six months.

Michelle Lujan Grisham announced raising nearly $1.4 million since her last campaign finance report in April. The campaign finance period was between between April 4 and October 2.

Lujan Grisham’s campaign reported these came from nearly 6,500 contributors.

Lujan Grisham’s campaign reported these came from nearly 6,500 contributors.

She now has nearly $1.6 million cash on hand, after spending nearly $520,000.

Some of her maximum donations came from investor George Soros, the Pueblo of Pojoaque,  hedge fund manager S. Donald Sussman and former State Senator Lisa Curtis.

Two of her opponents in the primary also announced raising big money. State Sen. Joseph Cervantes announced raising just over $555,000 and now has nearly $750,000 cash on hand.

But a significant part of that—$400,000—came from loans Cervantes made to his campaign. He also had $190,000 in unpaid campaign debt from previous periods. Cervantes spent just under $55,000 in the campaign period.

Cervantes received donations from businesses he’s associated with, as well as family members, including his children.

Apodaca raised just over $900,000, with $450,000 coming from a loan to his campaign.

Apodaca received several donations from medical cannabis producers, including $5,000 from Ultra Health.

Peter DeBenedittis did not have a campaign finance report online Monday night.

Republican raises big too

Steve Pearce reported raising just over $1,000,000 since announcing his gubernatorial campaign. Pearce is the lone Republican running for governor so far.

CSI Aviation, which is owned by Republican Allen Weh, a number of oil and gas companies and executives and Donald Rumsfeld and his wife are among those who donated the maximum to Pearce’s campaign. Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, listed his occupation as “author.”

Pearce is also attempting to use the money he raised for federal races in his gubernatorial campaign. He has nearly $1 million in his federal campaign coffers, but Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver says that money is subject to the state’s contribution limits—meaning he could only use $5,500 of it for each of the primary and general election campaigns.

Pearce filed a lawsuit to use the money, which is pending.

Commissioner of Public Lands

Public Regulations Commissioner Pat Lyons raised $23,475 for his Commissioner of Public Lands race. Lyons is the only Republican seeking the position.

Democrat George Munoz raised $120,007, nearly all in the form of loans from the candidate to his campaign. Outside of those loans, Munoz raised just $8,100, $4,400 of which came from Devon Energy.

Garrett VeneKlasen, also a Democrat, raised over $91,000. He did not loan his campaign any money.

Former State Land Commissioner Ray Powell’s campaign finance report showed he raised more than $81,000, including a $50,000 loan from the candidate to the campaign.

Correction: This story previously said Ray Powell’s campaign finance report was not available online. It was available, though not in the 2018 candidate section of the website.