- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez raised $561,586 for her re-election in the past month, which was more than twice as much as the five Democrats seeking to challenge her in the general election, according to the latest financial reports.

Alan Webber, a wealthy Santa Fe businessman, was the leading Democratic fundraiser with $115,683. Lawrence Rael was next with $58,030; state Sen. Howie Morales, $22,012; Attorney General Gary King, $12,270; and $10,236 for state Sen. Linda Lopez.

The winner of the June 3 Democratic primary will face Martinez in November.

After spending more than a half million dollars in the past month, the governor’s campaign reported cash-on-hand of $4.2 million.

Webber had a balance of $455,887, and Rael had $209,557. King was next with $48,341, Morales at $44,712 and Lopez had $13,957.

Monday was the deadline for campaign finance reports covering April 8 through May 5.

With Election Day drawing near, fundraising is critical as candidates scramble to air advertisements and send mailings to voters.

Webber has been the leading Democratic fundraiser in large part because he previously provided his campaign with $450,000 in personal loans and contributions.

Webber made no additional loans in the last month, but he provided in-kind contributions of $1,100.

Webber co-founded the business magazine Fast Company in the 1990s, and along with investors sold it for more than $300 million.

Among Webber’s contributors was 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, who gave $250. Webber worked as a speech writer for Dukakis when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Contributing $5,200 to Webber were Barry Libert, a Dover, Massachusetts, technology investor, and H. Gerald Bidwell, a retired securities industry executive from Santa Barbara, California.

Rael received $5,000 from Roswell, New Mexico, oil producer Robert Armstrong and his wife.

Rael and King each refunded contributions from former University of New Mexico President F. Chris Garcia, who was charged in 2011 in an online prostitution case but was cleared when the state Supreme Court ruled last year that the website allegedly run by Garcia and another man wasn’t illegal under state law.

Rael had received $2,500 from Garcia, while King got $25. King campaign manager Jim Farrell said the refund would be reflected in an amended report.

Morales received $3,000 worth of in-kind donations from Roque Garcia, the CEO of a behavioral-health provider that had its Medicaid payments suspended by the Martinez administration last year because of allegations of fraud. The campaign said the donations were travel expenses, including use of the executive’s private airplane.

The attorney general’s office is investigating fraud allegations against more than a dozen mental health providers. Morales and other legislators have criticized the governor for contracting with Arizona companies to replace the New Mexico firms.

Lopez received $2,400 from the Santa Fe chapter of the Communications Workers of America, a union representing some state government workers.

Among the governor’s top donors were companies involved with radioactive waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory. EnergySolutions Inc. gave $10,400 and Waste Control Specialists contributed $10,000.

EnergySolutions has transported plutonium-contaminated waste from LANL. Some waste is stored at Waste Control’s commercial dump in rural West Texas because the government closed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico after a radiation leak.

Martinez’s campaign spent $552,546 in the past month, including about $312,000 to air TV ads.

Webber spent $99,811, including nearly $20,000 for production of TV ads that began airing last week.

Rael reported expenditures of $77,240, with nearly two-thirds of that for advertising. Spending by King was $53,107, $27,300 for Morales and Lopez, $15,569.


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

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