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Three Democrats’ war chests for House race exceed $300,000

SANTA FE — The campaigns for New Mexico’s two open congressional seats are drawing hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations as Republicans and Democrats alike scramble to join the U.S. House.

At least three Democrats have raised more than $300,000 each in a bid to win the nomination to succeed Michelle Lujan Grisham in the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District.

Retired law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez continues to lead the field in both total donations and cash on hand, followed by former Democratic Party Chairwoman Debra Haaland and former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez.

The race is wide open this year because the incumbent, Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, is running for governor. At least eight candidates say they are seeking the Democratic nomination in the June 5 primary.

Here’s a look at the best-financed candidates in the 1st Congressional District:

— Sedillo Lopez, a former associate dean at the University of New Mexico Law School, has raised about $456,000 in total contributions and has $348,000 in cash on hand, including some loans.

— Haaland, who would be the first Native American woman in Congress, has reported about $386,000 in contributions and about $196,000 cash on hand.

— Martinez, who launched his campaign in July, has raised about $311,000 in private donations, with nearly $323,000 cash on hand, thanks to some loans.

— Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis has raised about $201,000.

— Damian Lara, president of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, has accepted about $92,000 in donations.

On the Republican side, former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones has raised the most, about $34,000.

In the race for the southern New Mexico-based 2nd Congressional District, Republican Monty Newman of Hobbs has raised nearly twice as much money as his closest rival.

Newman, a former state GOP chairman, reported having received $446,928 during the reporting period, including a hefty contribution from Jeff Garrett, an Arizona-based developer who was also active in Albuquerque’s recent mayoral election.

He has more than $356,000 available in his campaign account.

State Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, who is barred from soliciting campaign funds during the ongoing 30-day legislative session, took in $235,576 in contributions. She has $202,556 in her campaign war chest.

Carlsbad pharmacist Jack Volpato trailed behind his Republican competitors with $48,822 in donations, while two other candidates who entered more recently did not file reports.

Among Democrats, Mad Hildebrandt of Socorro reported receiving $134,681 in contributions — including several big out-of-state contributions — and has more than $118,464 available.

Xochitl Torres Small and Angel Peña, both Las Cruces residents, are the other active Democratic candidates, but neither was required to file a fundraising report because they entered the race recently.

The 2nd Congressional District race is open because incumbent Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican, is running for governor.


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