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PNM CEO, unions among Luján campaign contributors

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

The CEO of New Mexico’s largest utility company and labor unions are among early contributors to U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s 2020 Senate campaign.

PNM CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn contributed $2,800 to Luján’s campaign, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson – through WB Richardson Strategies – also contributed $2,800, but the contribution was refunded.

“I’m humbled that so many people have invested in my campaign,” the congressman told the Journal. He raised more than $1.1 million during the second quarter of the year, which ended June 30.

It was his first quarter of fundraising since announcing his Senate bid. He’ll face New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver in the Democratic primary next year. Former Trump administration official Gavin Clarkson is the only announced Republican candidate, although Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich is expected to make a decision soon on whether he will make another Senate run.

While Luján said the average donation to his campaign is about $50, several political action committees have already contributed thousands of dollars to his campaign. That includes contributions from labor unions. The International Association of Fire Fighters and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees each donated $5,000. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association contributed $2,500, the National Rural Letter Carriers donated $1,000 and the National Association of Letter Carriers donated $1,000.

Other notable contributions include $5,000 from End Citizens United, $5,000 from the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, $5,000 from the National Association of Real Estate Investors, $5,000 from the Latino Victory Fund, $2,800 from the Oneida Indian Nation, $2,500 from the National Indian Gaming Association, and $2,500 from American Wind Energy.

His campaign has received almost $500,000 in online donations through the Democratic organization ActBlue.

Maggie Toulouse Oliver

All but $3,600 of Toulouse Oliver’s nearly $223,000 came in the form of individual contributions, although she did have several donations of $1,000 or more.

Political committee money she received includes $2,800 from the Los Angeles Women’s Giving Collective and $200 from Bernalillo County Commission Chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins. Toulouse Oliver received almost $160,000 in online donations through ActBlue.

“Maggie’s campaign isn’t built by billionaires and D.C. insiders,” Toulouse Oliver’s campaign manager Heather Brewer said. “It’s a campaign built by teachers, artists, doctors, nurses, property managers, retirees and even one self-described ‘sandwich slinger.’ These are real people supporting a candidate with a real-life story like theirs. It’s time for a single mom with a car payment and student loans to be at the table in the U.S. Senate fighting for real solutions to problems like climate change and health care access.”

Pat for New Mexico (funds from Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis’ 2018 congressional campaign) gave $500 to both Democratic campaigns.

Gavin Clarkson

Individual contributions also make up the majority of the $156,000 Clarkson has raised. He did receive $1,000 in political committee donations from Spirit of ’76 PAC and Gulf States Toyota in Houston, Texas. He received $250 from both Hispanos Unidos and HSP Direct LLC PACs.

Efforts to reach Clarkson’s campaign for comment were unsuccessful at press time.

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