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Mayoral candidates raising, spending campaign funds

Metro BeatFive of Albuquerque’s eight mayoral candidates have secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in their campaign coffers, but three of them have also already spent significant chunks of their campaign funds.

While attorney Brian Colón is leading the pack in fundraising, businessman Ricardo Chaves is the leader in spending since April, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports filed earlier this month.

Chaves reported spending more than $134,000. The vast majority of that money – $100,000 – was paid to Bob Cornelius, Chaves’ campaign manager. Another large chunk, a little more than $26,000, was paid to SC Consulting, a political consulting firm.

State Auditor Tim Keller, the only publicly financed candidate in the mayor’s race, has spent close to $131,000 since April. Of that, $113,400 was paid to Rio Strategies, the Albuquerque firm running his campaign. The Keller campaign paid another $15,000 to GBA Strategies for research.

City Councilor Dan Lewis, meanwhile, has spent close to $118,000 since April. The Lewis campaign paid $38,600 to Stoneridge Group, a Georgia firm, for a variety of services, including campaign materials, web design and digital consulting. Lewis’ campaign paid another $26,800 to Premier Consulting, of Albuquerque, for fundraising services. And campaign manager Steward Bragg was paid $18,000 during that period.

Colón and Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson have been a little more thrifty with their spending.

Colón has spent close to $54,000 since April. More than half of that – $28,000 – was paid to Global Strategy Group for polling.

Johnson, meanwhile, has spent just over $23,000 since April. Of that, nearly $12,000 was paid to Ekern Co. Anne Ekern serves at Johnson’s finance consultant.

Election Day is Oct. 3, about 10 weeks away.

Money in hand

So how much cash did the mayoral candidates have on hand as of July 13? Here’s the rundown: Colón: $517,540; Chaves: $373,957; Keller: $232,446; Lewis: $192,589; Johnson: $187,008; Michelle Garcia Holmes, a former chief of staff for the state Attorney General’s Office and a retired Albuquerque police detective: $27,590; recent University of New Mexico graduate Gus Pedrotty: $1,987; and Susan Wheeler-Deichsel, founder of the civic group Urban ABQ: $341.

Firefighters approve

Keller has added the Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters, Local 244 of the International Association, to his growing list of endorsements.

“He knows we must invest in fire and police staffing, operations and infrastructure to protect our community,” Diego Arencón, president of IAFF Local 244 said in a news release.

Martin Salazar: