Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Campaign Finance Blowout

Blowout. That's probably the best one-word description for the campaign finance reports filed yesterday by candidates for governor in New Mexico.

Incumbent Gov. Susana Martinez at this point might be tempted to play like Scrooge McDuck and joyfully swim in a pool of currency. She's got more than $3.2 million cash on hand, according to her report. That's more than 20 times the figure for the strongest Democrat Gary King, who reported $142,000 in the bank.

My story in today's New Mexican is HERE

The other Democrat in the race, Sen. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque didn't file her report until right before midnight (way past my deadline but within the state's deadline). She had only $16,000 in her coffers.

(It looks like Sen. Howie Morales is about to enter the Democratic primary also. He's got a long way to catch up, but the anemic showing by King and Lopez could help him with Dems looking for an alternative candidate.)

But it wasn't completely bad news for Democrats yesterday. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who is challenging incumbent Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who apparently hasn't yet launched a serious fund-raising effort, ended up with a cash balance of $45,000. Duran had just over $7,500 cash on hand.

No, the money race isn't the most important factor in a campaign. But, at least in the governor's race, the more-than-daunting financial advantage for Martinez could further cement the feeling of inevitability for her re-election. I wouldn't be surprised to see the national pundits like Larry Sabato and Charlie Cook change their ratings of the New Mexico governor's race from "Leans Republican" to "Safe Republican" in the near future unless something drastic happens.