- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Republican Party of New Mexico is dropping a $100 fee for media seeking to cover its state convention.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/1VO2pN7) state GOP officials backtracked Friday on requiring news organizations pay $100 a piece for press credentials to the May 21 convention.

State GOP spokesman W. Tucker Keene says the idea of a fee was to help defray costs, not discourage media from attending.

New Mexico Democratic Party officials criticized the fee as a tactic to duck questions from journalists.

Keene refuted that claim, saying the convention welcomes all press.

The Republican National Committee for the first time is charging a $150 access fee for seats on the press stand at this summer’s national convention in Cleveland.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

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