NRCC names two CD2 candidates to ‘contender’ status

Two Republicans seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat remain in the good graces of the national organization seeking to elect more Republicans to Congress. On Wednesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee added former State Rep. Yvette Herrell and oil lobbyist Claire Chase to the “contender” tier of the organization’s Young Guns program. According to the NRCC, those considered contenders are candidates who “have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation” and are running in congressional seats “that appear favorable to the GOP candidate.”

“These hard working candidates have proven their ability to run strong, competitive campaign operations. We’re going to ensure these contenders are victorious in November by forcing their Democratic opponents to own their party’s radical socialist agenda,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Herrell, who was the Republican nominee in 2018, said in a statement that the announcement “is yet another validation of the winning campaign that we are building.”

“We will continue working hard all across this district, taking nothing for granted as we earn the Republican nomination and then take back this seat from Nancy Pelosi’s puppet Xochitl Torres Small,” Herrell continued.

Filing day for federal candidates

Dozens of candidates filed to run for their parties’ nominations in statewide judicial and federal races on Tuesday. Candidates who make the official ballot will go in front of voters on June 2. The winners of those primaries will be in the general election on Nov. 3. The state will hold pre-primary conventions in March; at those conventions, candidates who receive a certain amount of support from party members at the convention will automatically make the primary ballot.

Campaign finance reports: Luján raised over $1 million

Of the nearly three-dozen federal candidates for four races up for grabs in November, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ben Ray Luján led the campaign finance race, raising just over $1 million in the final three months of 2019. He was followed by 2nd Congressional District Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small, who raised just over $900,000. Torres Small has the most cash-on-hand of any federal candidate: More than $2.3 million. Luján has just over $2 million cash on hand. Torres Small does not currently have an opponent in June’s primaries, while Luján is heavily favored to win his primary against former city of Española finance director Andrew Perkins.