New Mexico’s open congressional races have drawn a robust field of candidates – and plenty of campaign cash.
Four Democrats have raised at least $130,000 for the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District seat, and two Republicans posted the biggest hauls for southern New Mexico’s 2nd District seat, according to reports filed over the weekend for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.
Both races will be open in 2018 because incumbent U.S. Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, and Steve Pearce, a Republican, are forgoing re-election bids and running for governor.
In the race to succeed Lujan Grisham, retired law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez continues to lead the field, with about $330,000 in donations, including plenty of contributions from attorneys and law professors.
Among her competitors, former Democratic Party Chairwoman Debra Haaland is second in the money race, having raised about $262,000 altogether.
Former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, who launched his campaign in July, reported about $161,000 in contributions, in addition to $50,000 he lent his campaign.
Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis has raised nearly $139,000.
Rounding out the eight-candidate field of Democrats are Damian Lara, president of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, who has raised about $63,000 and lent his campaign $125,000; physicist Dennis Dinge, who’s raised about $7,000; Edgewood Town Councilor John Abrams, who’s raised about $400; and former journalist John Flores, who didn’t report raising any money yet.
On the Republican side, former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones has raised about $12,000. Michael Hendricks, a lawyer, didn’t report raising any money and instead said he’s running for state attorney general.
In the 2nd Congressional District, former GOP state party Chairman Monty Newman of Hobbs reported raising more than $316,000 since entering the race in August, including contributions from several oil and natural gas industry executives.
State Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, has taken in more than $129,000 in donations for her campaign, while Carlsbad pharmacist Jack Volpato has received about $20,000 in contributions.
Former New Mexico National Guard leader Andrew Salas, the fourth Republican in the race, announced his campaign last week and has not reported any campaign contributions.
Of the six Democrats vying for the party’s nomination in the congressional district, Las Cruces attorney David Baake reported raising the most cash. He has received about $50,000.
Other Democrats who filed reports include Tony Martinez of Las Cruces, who has raised $28,268, and Adolf Zubia of Las Cruces, who has raised $23,747. Several other Democrats who have announced campaigns for the congressional seat either had not filed fundraising reports as of Monday or reported smaller contribution amounts.