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Politics Notebook: King hopes to hire new campaign manager this week

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Democratic governor candidate Gary King is facing a new challenge in his bid to defeat incumbent Gov. Susana Martinez – replacing his campaign manager.

King’s top campaign staffer for the past nine months, Jim Farrell, left the campaign last week, after King won his party’s nomination in a five-way primary race.

Farrell, a veteran campaign consultant, said family factors were behind the decision. He also told the Journal his offer to run King’s general election campaign from Las Cruces, where his family lives, was declined.

Reached Monday, King said he has already interviewed several potential replacements and hoped to hire a new campaign manager by the end of the week.

He said he was looking at candidates with connections to national Democratic groups, such as the Democratic Governors Association.

“It’s important to know New Mexico, but frankly that’s the part I’m really good at,” said King, who is the state’s attorney general and son of the late three-term Gov. Bruce King.

King’s campaign also began airing its first TV ad of the general election cycle on Monday. Martinez, who is seeking re-election, unveiled a new ad of her own last week, and a national GOP governors group launched a TV spot on her behalf.

LATE FILINGS: Two Republican candidates for statewide office have been warned by Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s office for failing to file timely campaign reports.

No fines had been handed down to Robert Aragon, state auditor candidate, or Rick Lopez, state treasurer candidate, for their delinquent filings as of last week, Duran’s chief of staff Ken Ortiz said.

Under New Mexico law, all qualified candidates are required to submit periodic reports detailing how much money they have raised and spent on their campaigns. The Secretary of State’s Office can levy fines of up to $50 per day for a failure to meet campaign reporting deadlines.

Lopez said Monday that a campaign staffer thought she had properly filed the report before a May 29 deadline.

“It was just a glitch,” Lopez said.

Lopez and Aragon were both unopposed in their GOP primary elections. Aragon will face off against Democrat Tim Keller in the Nov. 4 general election, and Lopez is running against Tim Eichenberg.

In addition to Aragon and Lopez, two write-in candidates for governor have also been warned for late filings by Duran’s office.

Dan Boyd can be reached at dboyd@abqjournal.com.

 

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