Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Three GOP Candidates Winning in the Cash Race

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
October 13, 2010

With three weeks remaining before the 2010 general election, three statewide Republican candidates report raising more funds than their Democratic opponents.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez; Dianna Duran, who is running for secretary of state against a Democratic incumbent; and GOP land commission candidate Matt Rush each reported getting more campaign cash than their opponents during the past month, according to reports filed Tuesday. (Find 'em all HERE )

Perhaps more importantly, Martinez, Duran and Rush have more money in the bank for the final push of the campaign season.

Martinez, the district attorney in Doña Ana County, raised more than $1.4 million during the past month, compared with $820,595 for Lt. Gov. Diane Denish. Martinez had $1.3 million cash on hand as of Oct. 4, compared with Denish’s $951,000.

Denish, who has been raising money to run for governor since 2007, had a huge money lead over Martinez going into the campaign. But by the end of the summer, Martinez, who has been leading in polls, began to catch up with Denish in fundraising.

Among Martinez’s largest contributor is the Republican Governor’s Association, which gave her $500,000. That’s on top of the $500,000 the organization already had contributed to her campaign.

Denish has tried to make an issue of Martinez receiving large donations from Texas residents. There were more such contributions in the most recent report.

Lewis Burleson Properties of Midland, Texas, contributed $75,000. Stanley Harper, a rancher and businessman from Mansfield, Texas, gave $20,000. Clayton Williams Energy Inc. of Midland, which according to the company’s website operates primarily in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, gave Martinez $15,000. Clayton “Claytie” Williams was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Texas in 1990, losing to Democrat Ann Richards.

Several Texans contributed $10,000 apiece to Martinez. These include Houston consultant Michele Mosbacher; Legacy Reserves, an oil company from Midland; Fasken Management, another oil company from Midland; rancher John Brittingham of Athens; Houston developer Steve Alvis; and rancher Cliff Skiles of Dalhart.

Other big contributors to Martinez were Roswell accountant Ronald Miller, who gave $20,000; Richard Wickens of Albuquerque; Roswell insurance man Randall Miller; Ray Westall of Loco Hills, N.M.; and the Pfizer drug company of New York — each of whom gave the campaign $10,000.

One of the better-known names among Martinez’s contributors was former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, who gave $5,000. Domenici’s son, Pete Domenici Jr., was one of the candidates Martinez defeated in the Republican primary in June.

Denish’s largest contributors were labor unions — the National Education Association and The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, each of which gave Denish $100,000. AFSCME had previously contributed $100,000 to Denish’s campaign.

The Democratic Governor’s Association gave her $50,000. The DGA previously had given $181,000 to Denish. The group separately reported spending $385,000 for TV ads on behalf of Denish.

Emily’s List, a group that gives money to female candidates who support abortion rights, gave $20,000. The group previously has given $90,000 to Denish’s campaign.

The International Association of Fire Fighters and Harvey Operating and Production Co. of Colorado each contributed $20,000 to Denish. Her $10,000 contributors included Sundance Services, a Eunice water recycling company; The Design Company, an Albuquerque firm; Intrepid Production Corp., a Colorado mining company; and Molina Healthcare Inc. of Long Beach, Calif.

In the secretary of state race, Republican Duran raised more than five times the amount that incumbent Democrat Mary Herrera reported taking in last month. Duran received $54,121 in the past month while Herrera raised $9,425. Duran had nearly $85,000 in the bank as of the end of last month, while Herrera had $51,400.

Almost half of Duran’s contributions in the last reporting period came from the state Republican Party, which gave $25,000.

Herrera’s largest single contribution in the report filed Tuesday was $2,000 from Sierras Y Llanos, a sales company from Tijeras. She also got $1,000 from the New Mexico Federation of Labor and $500 each from unions representing carpenters and communications workers. House Speaker Ben Luján, D-Nambé, gave Herrera $500 last month.

GOP Land Commission candidate Matt Rush of Portales is outraising his Democratic opponent, former Land Commissioner Ray Powell, according to the latest reports. Rush in the last month collected more than $93,000, nearly three times the $33,352 that Powell took in.

Rush’s biggest contribution was $25,000 from the state Republican Party. The Eddy County Republican Party gave him another $10,000. Rush got $5,000 contributions from Shannon Kizer in Movesand, N.M.; the International Potash Corp. of Colorado; and Knute Lee of Albuquerque.

Powell also received $5,000 from the International Potash Corp. as well as $5,000 from Forest City Covington, which is developing the Mesa del Sol project in southeast Albuquerque.

In the race for attorney general, incumbent Democrat Gary King maintained his fundraising lead over Republican Matt Chandler in the latest reports. King raised $73,875 in the past month, compared with Chandler’s $54,976 in the same period. King had $139,00 in the bank while Chandler had about $109,000.
King’s biggest contributors were Albuquerque lawyer William Carpenter and his wife, Patricia Carpenter, who gave him a combined $25,000.

The Downs at Albuquerque racetrack and casino contributed $5,000 to King while track owner Paul Blanchard gave another $2,500. King also received $5,000 donations from the International Capital Asset Management firm of New York and the Pfizer drug company.

Unlike Duran and Rush, Chandler, who was trailing King in an Albuquerque Journal poll last month by 20 percentage points, didn’t get any money from the state Republican Party. His biggest contributions were $5,000 from Yates Petroleum of Artesia and $2,500 from RAI Services, a business from North Carolina.

In the state treasurer’s race, Democratic incumbent James Lewis held a huge money advantage over Republican challenger Jim Schoonover. Lewis reported more than $26,000 in the bank compared to Schoonover’s $458. The incumbent raised $17,700. His largest single contributor was Albuquerque lawyer Robert White, who gave $2,500.

Schoonover raised $1,300. Former Gov. Garrey Carruthers contributed $200 to his campaign.

Incumbent Democratic state Auditor Hector Balderas raised $22,789 for his race last month and had more than $150,000 cash on hand. His largest contribution was from Mansfield rancher Stanley Harper — who also gave to Republican Martinez’s gubernatorial campaign.

GOP challenger Errol Chavez’s latest report wasn’t available on the Secretary of State’s website Tuesday evening. As of his previous report filed last month, Chavez had $12,677 cash on hand.