- Associated Press - Thursday, May 29, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Democratic candidates for governor have spent about $876,000 in the past three weeks as they launched an advertising blitz in the final stretch of the primary election campaign, according to the latest campaign finance disclosures.

Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber remains the top Democratic fundraiser in the five-way primary contest. Attorney General Gary King, who’s the front-runner in the race based on the most recent poll but had been lagging in fundraising, loaned his campaign $195,400 to help finance television ads and mailings.

The winner of the Democratic primary will challenge Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in the general election.

Martinez continues to hold a hefty fundraising advantage over the Democrats. She reported cash-on-hand of $4.3 million as of Tuesday. That’s after spending $325,536, with more than half of that for radio and television advertising.

Webber spent $474,575 from May 6 through Tuesday, with $4 of every $5 spent on advertising.

King reported expenditures of $207,785, including $110,000 for TV ads and $66,000 for brochures mailed to voters.

Rael spent $142,863, with two-thirds for advertising.

Webber, King and Rael have been the only candidates to air TV ads so far.

Sen. Howie Morales spent $44,582, including $28,000 for polling. Sen. Linda Lopez had expenditures of $6,149, but $2,000 going for campaign consulting.

According to a poll published Sunday by the Albuquerque Journal, King was running slightly ahead of Rael and Webber in voter support as of last week. Morales and Lopez trailed, but the race remained wide open because of a large number of undecided voters.

Bolstered by a loan made earlier this week, King reported raising more money than the other Democrats. He had receipts of $235,963. His top donors were Albuquerque, New Mexico lawyers Turner and Margaret Branch, who gave a combined $10,200.

Webber raised $180,484, followed by $42,792 for Rael, $25,005 for Morales and $11,950 for Lopez.

The latest campaign finance disclosures, which were filed with the secretary of state’s office, cover fundraising from May 6 through May 27. They provide the final complete look at a candidate’s finances before the June 3 election.

Webber had cash-on-hand of $161,795 in his campaign account as of Tuesday. Rael reported a balance of $109,487, followed by King with $75,518, Morales with $25,135 and Lopez at $19,757.

Top donors to Webber included Daniel and Sonnett McKinnon, who each gave $5,200. He’s the son of former New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Dan McKinnon and has been an executive with a New York-based investment firm.

Morales received $5,200 from a political committee of the American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico, a labor union that’s endorsed him. Rael’s largest donor was Anselmo Valerio, a Taos, New Mexico area builder who gave $2,500. Lopez got $4,000 from her state Senate campaign committee.

Martinez’s contributors included California winery executive Thomas Jordan, who gave $5,200, and his winery gave $5,057. Giving $10,400 were Denver developer and homebuilder Larry Mizel, the Republican Party of San Diego County in California, the re-election committee of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Willis Johnson of Franklin, Tennessee, who founded an online auction company for selling vehicles.


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

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