SANTA FE – Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver pledged Friday to release her tax returns as soon as next week in her bid for the Democratic nomination to an open U.S. Senate seat in 2020.
“It’s really a matter of transparency,” said campaign spokeswoman Heather Brewer. “If the public wants information about how public officials are earning their money, what their sources of income are, they should have access to that.”
Her rival for the nomination, Rep. Ben Ray Luján said through a spokesperson that he would not release tax returns because it is not legally required. Luján is one of the House Democrats pressing President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, even though Trump is not legally required to do so.
Toulouse Oliver, who is the state’s top election regulator, recently submitted financial disclosure forms to the U.S. Senate indicating she is juggling student-loan and credit card debt on a salary of $85,000. The single mother of two has highlighted her familiarity with the issues facing working mothers and parents on the campaign trail.
Candidates in last year’s gubernatorial race released tax records to varying degrees. Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, who won the election, released tax returns going back five years.
Gavin Clarkson, the only announced Republican Senate candidate, has declined to provide tax returns. He has filed an extension until August to fill out financial disclosures required of Senate candidates about personal income, household assets, financial liabilities and any sources of compensation over $5,000.
Clarkson was defeated in the race for secretary of state last year.
In addition to her state salary, Toulouse Oliver disclosed income of at least $5,000 from a stipend as part of a leadership fellowship from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Under liabilities, she listed consolidated student loans of between $50,000 and $100,000. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of New Mexico. Additional liabilities are linked to a loan to pay tuition for her son, a student at Santa Fe Community College.
Credit card liabilities of at least $30,000 also are listed with a local credit union and a national bank. Brewer said Toulouse Oliver is not currently a homeowner, after a second divorce.
Luján’s financial disclosures on a House of Representatives form show no liabilities above the $10,000 reporting threshold. He estimates the value of his home and ranch in Nambé at less than $250,000, and reports balances in three bank accounts of less than $15,000 each.
Luján earns $174,000 as a member of Congress, and has accrued state pension benefits from his former career as an elected utilities regulator and employee of two other state agencies.