- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has raised $1.5 million for her re-election in the past six months, giving the Republican incumbent a big fundraising advantage over Democratic challengers, according to the latest campaign finance disclosures.

Martinez reported cash-on-hand of $4.2 million in her campaign account, which far exceeds the fundraising of any of the five Democrats seeking their party’s nomination in the June 2 primary election.

Monday was the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance disclosures with the secretary of state’s office.

Alan Webber, a wealthy Santa Fe businessman, was the leading Democratic fundraiser with $837,146. That included $450,000 in personal loans and contributions.

Lawrence Rael raised $339,357, followed by Attorney General Gary King with $233,524, Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City with $194,976 and Sen. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque with $29,499.

All of the Democratic candidates except Lopez loaned personal money to their campaigns.

Webber’s campaign reported a cash balance of nearly $439,915 as of last week, and Rael had $228,767. King had cash-on-hand of $89,178, Morales had $46,625 and Lopez had $19,289.

The disclosures cover fundraising from Oct. 7 through April 7, and provide the first comprehensive look at the campaign finances of all the candidates for governor.

Martinez collected nearly $1.4 million in cash contributions. That included $10,400 - the maximum allowed under the law - from Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens and Devon Energy Corp. co-founder J. Larry Nichols. Two members of the billionaire Bass family of Fort Worth - Lee and Sid Bass - gave $10,400 and another member, Edward Bass, contributed $10,000.

The governor also received nearly $115,000 worth of in-kind donations of goods and services.

The Martinez campaign spent $453,038 during the past six months, including for travel, consulting and fundraising.

Webber’s campaign spent $371,698, followed by King with expenditures of $282,742, Morales with $126,292, Rael with $94,196 and Lopez with $25,973.

Webber, a political newcomer in New Mexico, is an entrepreneur who co-founded the business magazine Fast Company in the 1990s and later sold it.

Top contributors to Webber’s campaign included real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman, who once published Fast Company magazine, and Fred Drasner, who formerly co-owned the New York Daily News with Zuckerman. Each gave $5,200.

In announcing his candidacy in October, Webber acknowledged that he would use personal money to jumpstart his campaign but said “this is not going to be and never was intended to be a self-funded political campaign.”

Rael, a longtime state, local and federal government manager, loaned his campaign $176,951.

King, who’s finishing his second term as attorney general, boosted his fundraising with loans of $100,506.

Morales loaned his campaign $25,000.

Under state law, the governor was prohibited from soliciting contributions from January through early March when the Legislature was in session and during a post-adjournment period in which she could sign or veto legislation.

Martinez raised about $7 million for her 2010 election, with about $2.2 million of that for a five-way primary race.

However, state law has changed since that election and New Mexico now limits campaign contributions. Individuals and political action committees can give up to $5,200 per election to a statewide candidate - $10,400 for the primary and general elections.

Candidates for governor previously could accept unlimited amounts from contributors. There remain no limits on how much personal money candidates can spend on their campaigns.



Candidates’ campaign finance disclosures: https://bit.ly/1kr24vs


Follow Barry Massey on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bmasseyAP

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