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State high court to hear King case

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SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court will hold a hearing Aug. 28 on a campaign finance lawsuit filed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King against Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

In agreeing to hear the case, the state’s highest court also set an Aug. 21 deadline for Duran’s office to respond to King’s lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week.

The dispute centers on whether King, who is also the state’s attorney general, violated the state’s election laws by accepting three campaign contributions that exceeded the state’s donation limits – in place for each election cycle – by a total of $10,900.

Duran, a Republican, has maintained that contributions received after the primary election cannot be designated for that election cycle. She had also instructed King to pay the $10,900 into a public election fund.

King has said the contributions were legal because he intended to apply them to his primary election debt. He has declined to pay the money into the fund and the Supreme Court stayed Duran’s demand until the matter is resolved.

The two top-ranking state officials have accused one another of being politically motivated in the dispute.

Duran is seeking re-election this year as secretary of state. King faces incumbent Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in the general election.

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