U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján continues to lead the money race in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. The six-term congressman has over $1.1 million more money in his campaign account than his primary opponent, while outed CIA spy Valerie Plame narrowly led the fundraising in the latest quarter for the 3rd Congressional District race.
At the same time, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small continued her impressive fundraising and now has over $1 million in her campaign account.
Campaign finance reports for the 2nd quarter, which runs from April 1 to June 30, were due for federal candidates on Monday.
While elections are not until next year, candidates will use campaign funds to hire staff and buy other campaign necessities.
Luján raised over $1.1 million and now has nearly $1.3 million cash-on-hand. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver reported raising $223,465 in her first quarter in the race and now has $86,506 cash-on-hand.
Luján is in his sixth term as a member of Congress and is in Democratic leadership as the Assistant Speaker in the U.S. House but has never ran statewide in New Mexico. Toulouse Oliver easily won reelection as Secretary of State in 2018 and is seeking to become the first woman to be U.S. Senator in New Mexico history.
On the Republican side, former Donald Trump administration official Gavin Clarkson raised $156,811.04 and ended with $107,735.21 cash-on-hand.
3rd Congressional District
The race to replace Luján in the 3rd Congressional District, meanwhile, saw two candidates raise over $230,000, with Plame raising just under $240,000, while 1st Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna raised just under $233,000. Serna, though, spent less money in the quarter and has more money left at the end of the fundraising period.
Santa Fe Attorney Teresa Leger raised $193,000, and has nearly $170,000 cash-on-hand and Consultant and former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Rob Apodaca raised over $100,000, but with $65,000 of that coming as a loan from himself to his campaign. He has just under $100,000 cash-on-hand.
State Rep. Joseph Sanchez raised over $42,000, including a $1,000 loan from himself to his campaign, and has over $40,00 cash-on-hand.
Republican Brett Kokinadis raised $8,200, of which $7,901 was in the form of loans from himself to his campaign.
Two other candidates, Democratic Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya and Republican Audra Lee Brown, filed papers to run for Congress, but did so after the end of the 2nd quarter, so their first campaign finance reports will not be due until October.
The district is heavily Democratic and has only elected a Republican once, in a 1997 special election.
2nd Congressional District
Torres Small, a freshman Democrat, will be one of the top targets for Republicans in the 2020 elections and is continuing to raise money to attempt to keep the Republican-leaning seat.
She raised nearly $640,000 in the quarter and now has $1.01 million cash-on-hand for her reelection campaign.
Two Republicans have announced their candidacies, with former State Rep. Yvette Herrell raising $101,000 and finishing with $307,000 cash-on-hand. Herrell narrowly lost to Torres Small in 2018 and is taking a second crack at running for Congress.
Businessman Chris Mathys again loaned his campaign a large amount of money — this time, $100,000. Mathys has just under $160,000 cash-on-hand and has loaned his campaign over $175,000 so far for the race.
In the 1st Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Deb Haaland raised over $200,000 and spent nearly the same amount, and now has just over $100,000 cash-on-hand. No Republican has filed paperwork to run in the district.