July 20, 2018

Dems start general elections with congressional cash advantage

New Mexico Democrats outstripped their Republican counterparts in congressional fundraising and have at least five times the amount of cash on hand in the races for two open seats.

That’s according to campaign finance reports filed to the Federal Election Commission earlier this week. The reports included money raised from April 1 to June 30 which included the primary election.

This year’s elections in New Mexico feature two open-seat races, as their incumbents instead are facing off in this year’s gubernatorial election.

In the 1st Congressional District, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham is leaving the seat after three terms. She won the Democratic primary for governor this June.

In the race to replace Lujan Grisham, Democrat Deb Haaland raised $458,000 in the second quarter of the year and spent just over $900,000, largely ahead of the multi-person primary she easily won. She finished the period with over $240,000 cash on hand.

Her Republican opponent, Janice Arnold-Jones, had no primary competition. She raised over $122,000 and spent nearly $80,000. The former state representative has less than $50,000 cash on hand.

Libertarian candidate Lloyd Princeton raised $4,500 and spent over $11,000. He had just over $400 cash on hand.

Republican Steve Pearce opted to leave the 2nd Congressional District for a gubernatorial run. He faced no opposition in the primary and will face Lujan Grisham in the general election in November.

Democratic water attorney Xochitl Torres Small led the fundraising after prevailing easily in a two-way primary contest. She raised $615,000 in the second quarter, while spending $361,000. She finished with just under $500,000 cash on hand.

Republican state representative Yvette Herrell won a bruising primary against former state Republican party chairman Monty Newman. She raised $170,000 in the period and spend $326,000. She has $100,000 cash on hand.

The candidate with the most cash on hand is Ben Ray Lujan, the 3rd Congressional District incumbent and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC seeks to elect Democrats to Congress.

He raised over $400,000 in the period and spent $170,000. he finished the campaign finance period with almost $840,000 cash on hand.

Neither his Republican or Libertarian opponents have FEC reports filed.

Correction: This story originally cited the total money Haaland had raised throughout the campaign instead of the 2nd quarter numbers.