September 11, 2018

The first campaign finance reports of general election are in for governor, other races

Campaign finance reports filed Monday showed positives for both gubernatorial candidates, with the Republican showing a lead with money left, but the Democrat raised, and spent, more money.

Republican nominee Steve Pearce finished the campaign finance period—which lasted from July 1 to Sept. 3—with nearly $1.9 million cash-on-hand for the final two months of the race.

This was well ahead of the $1.2 million cash-on-hand for his opponent, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Lujan Grisham, however, raised $1.9 million in the period and spent almost $1.5 million.

Pearce’s $750,000 fundraising haul was boosted with $133,000 in state funds to pay for legal fees after he won a legal battle over whether his campaign could use money raised for federal elections in the state race. He also spent less money in the period, just over $800,000.

Pearce’s campaign manager, Paul Smith, said in a statement the reports shows the campaign is “in a strong cash-on-hand position to win in November.”

Lujan Grisham said in her own statement she was “honored and grateful to have the continued support of thousands of New Mexico grassroots donors who are powering this campaign to turn around the last eight years of failed economic and education policies.”

Lujan Grisham’s running mate, Howie Morales, finished with over $90,000 cash-on-hand, while Pearce’s running mate Michelle Garcia Holmes finished with nearly $25,000 cash-on-hand.

Unlike vice presidential candidates on the federal level, candidates for lieutenant governor run separately in primaries before becoming part of the ticket in the general election.

Other statewide races

Incumbent Democrats finished with large cash-on-hand leads in their state races, while the lone Republican incumbent running held a narrow lead over his Democratic challenger. A former Republican Commissioner of Public Lands, running for that spot again, has a massive fundraising advantage.

Attorney General Hector Balderas finished with $990,000 cash-on-hand, far more than his Republican and Libertarian opponents campaigned.

Republican Michael Hendricks finished with $73,700 cash-on-hand after raising $2,000, while Libertarian Blair Dunn finished with $6,500 after raising $6,000.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver finished with $170,000 cash-on-hand. Gavin Clarkson, her Republican opponent, finished with nearly $29,000 cash-on-hand. He began his campaign in July after JoHanna Cox dropped out of the race. And Libertarian Ginger Grider began her campaign last week after former State Rep. Sandra Jeff ended her campaign last month. Since Grider began her campaign after the fundraising period, she did not need to file a report.

State Auditor Wayne Johnson, the Republican appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez after Democrat Tim Keller won election to mayor of Albuquerque, finished the campaign with $105,000 cash-on-hand.His opponent, former Democratic Party of New Mexico chair Brian Colón finished with just over $100,000 cash-on-hand.

Public Regulation Commissioner and former Commissioner of Public Lands Pat Lyons, a Republican, is seeking another term as Commissioner of Public Lands, and has a large fundraising advantage over Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. Lyons has $188,000 cash-on-hand to Garcia’s $33,000 cash-on-hand.

Democratic State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg finished with $30,333.42 cash-on-hand, while Republican Arthur Castillo did not file a report by press time, but had much less cash-on-hand coming into the period.

Candidates will file two more campaign finance reports before election day. The second general election report is due Oct. 8, and the final pre-election report is due Nov. 1.