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Records show fundraising flurry among state legislative candidates over last month


Records show fundraising flurry among state legislative candidates over last month

May 15, 2024 | 5:31 am ET
By Patrick Lohmann
Records show fundraising flurry among state legislative candidates over last month
Volunteers for incumbent Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup) try to recruit voters at an arts event on May 11 in downtown Gallup. Lundstrom's campaign was one of the 10 top state House fundraisers in the last month or so, according to new filings. (Photo by Patrick Lohmann / Source NM)

New Mexico’s House candidates reported nearly $1.5 million donated in recent weeks to their campaigns. The filings come three weeks ahead of the June 4 primary election. 

Candidates were required to report by midnight May 14 all donations they received and how they spent it between April 2 and May 6. 

Of 234 candidates who have filed to run for 112 seats in the New Mexico House and Senate, 38 candidates reported no new donations. In the House, 20 of 144 House candidates reported no donations in the last reporting period. 

Democratic lawmaker defends campaign spending

Candidates will be required to disclose their donations and expenses once more on May 30, less than a week before the primaries end. Early voting in New Mexico began May 7.

In the home stretch before the primaries, the filings show some races getting closer, at least in terms of finances. The records also show several long-time incumbents growing cash advantages over their opponents.

For example, Rep. Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup) raised more than $47,000 in the last month, according to the latest campaign finance records. She now has raised more than $370,000 and, in the past several weeks, spent more than $84,000.

Her main opponent to represent House District 9, Chris Hudson, raised a little less than $3,000 in the same period. 

Nine of the top 10 fundraisers this period were Democrats. The biggest earner in the last four weeks was Rep. Ambrose Castellano (D-Las Vegas), who is facing off against Anita Gonzales in the primary. Filings show Castellano raised more than $63,000. 

He received multiple donations of $5,000 or more from political action committees representing oil and gas interests and contractors, as well as from a Las Vegas-area ranch owned by actor Patrick Swayze and his wife. 

Gonzales was also among the top 10 state House fundraisers in the last month, earning more than $38,000. Her big donations last month came from a Washington, D.C.-based labor union and political action committee tackling climate change, plus local law firm Roybal Mack & Cordova. 

Their race for District 70 is among 12 primaries that are relatively close in terms of cash on hand as primary day approaches, according to a Source New Mexico review of 31 contested primaries this season. 

Top 10 NM House fundraisers between April 2 and May 6

  • Ambrose Castellano (D-District 70): $63,188.21 raised ($78,427.82 on hand)
  • Meredith Dixon (D-District 20): $60,853.99 ($100,012.44)
  • Marian Matthews (D-District 27): $51,491.26 ($129,723.16)
  • Susan K Herrera (D-District 41): $50,360.11 ($51,329.28)
  • Marianna Anaya (D-District 18): $49,785.74 ($69,086.10)
  • Patty Lundstrom (D-District 9): $47,128.59 ($286,918.05)
  • Rebecca Dow (R-District 38): $45,119.54 ($126,507.30)
  • Willie Madrid (D-District 53): $45,050.18 ($60,663.92)
  • Javier Martinez (D-District 11): $44,583.34 ($111,318.88)
  • Harry Garcia (D-District 69): $44,575.25  ($97,424.60)

The review also showed fundraising race narrowing in District 18, where four Democrats are seeking to replace outgoing Democrat Gail Chasey for the Albuquerque district. 

Marianna Anaya and Anjali Taneja each have around $70,000 on hand after the last month of fundraising and spending. Anaya raised nearly $50,000, twice as much as Taneja. 

In the same primary, Gloria Sue Doherty raised more than $17,000, while Juan Larranaga raised $900, according to Secretary of State records. 

Republican Kimberly Skaggs, seeking to unseat Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces), raised about $42,000 in the last month, thanks to large donations primarily from other lawmakers and a nearly $9,000 donation to herself. She raised $20,000 more than Small in the same period.

Still, Small has nearly $180,000 remaining before the November general election. Skaggs has about $90,000. 

The primary election is June 4, though early voting is expanding throughout the state beginning May 18. 

See the chart below for more details on where things stand in statewide House races: