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Fundraising Close In Senate Contest

WASHINGTON – If fundraising is a measure of competitiveness in political races, the U.S. Senate race in New Mexico is shaping up to be a barnburner.

Former Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican, on Friday reported raising slightly more money during the second quarter of 2012 than her Democratic competitor, Rep. Martin Heinrich, although Heinrich still has slightly more campaign cash in the bank than Wilson.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, Wilson raised $1,624,432 during the second quarter of this year, from April 1 to June 30. Heinrich’s FEC report shows that he raised $1,417,742 during the same period. The recent reports mark the second consecutive quarter that Wilson has generated more campaign donations than Heinrich.

The federal reports show that Wilson had $1,632,432 in her campaign account at the end of June, while Heinrich had $1,763,770. So far in the campaign, Wilson reports raising $4,047,169 compared with the $3,893,883 Heinrich has raised. Wilson served in the U.S. House – in the same Albuquerque-based seat Heinrich now holds – from 1997 until 2008. She has worked in the private sector for the past four years. Heinrich was elected to the 1st District congressional seat in 2008.

“Nearly 5,300 New Mexicans have contributed to my Senate campaign,” Wilson said in a statement. “I’m very grateful for this outpouring of support from so many people who know that Congressman Heinrich’s extreme agenda is making it harder for New Mexico small businesses to create jobs.”

Heinrich also touted his grass-roots fundraising efforts.

“I’m grateful to receive the backing of so many New Mexicans from every corner of the state,” Heinrich said in a statement. “I’ve covered thousands of miles traveling the state meeting with voters. Together, we are building the largest grass-roots campaign New Mexico has ever seen.”

The FEC reports show that Wilson had spent about $2.4 million on her Senate campaign through June 30. Heinrich reported spending about $2.2 million on his campaign.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal