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State GOP leaders give big to Trump campaign

Then-candidate Donald Trump speaks at an Albuquerque rally in 2016. He has received more than $250,000 from New Mexico residents for his reelection bid. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Then-candidate Donald Trump speaks at an Albuquerque rally in 2016. He has received more than $250,000 from New Mexico residents for his reelection bid. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – President Donald Trump has raked in more money from New Mexico donors for his reelection bid than any one of his would-be Democratic challengers, although the total dollar amount received by Democratic candidates from New Mexicans exceeds the president’s haul.

Meanwhile, current and former state Republican Party officials are among Trump’s biggest donors in the state, according to recent federal filings.

In all, Trump had received roughly $250,951 from New Mexico donors for his reelection campaign through June. That puts New Mexico in the bottom half of campaign contributions for the incumbent by state.

Contributions include $2,800 from state GOP Chairman Steve Pearce, a former congressman, and $5,600 from former party Chairman Harvey Yates of Albuquerque, one of the state’s two Republican National Committee members.

Pearce said in an interview Tuesday that he believes Trump is improving the nation’s long-term jobs outlook by imposing tariffs on imports from China and other foreign countries, and by taking other actions.

While Trump has faced criticism, including from some Republicans, for stoking racial tensions with some of his remarks, Pearce said he thinks the president has recently moderated his language and toned down his rhetoric.

“I’m right there with the Trump team saying,’Don’t write New Mexico off,’ ” Pearce said, referring to the 2020 presidential election.

The state has voted for Democratic presidential candidates in each of the past three presidential election years: 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The last Republican candidate to win New Mexico was George W. Bush, in 2004.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defeated Trump by about 8 percentage points in New Mexico in 2016, winning its five electoral votes. Former Gov. Gary Johnson, ran as a Libertarian that year and received more than 9% of the votes cast in New Mexico.

Among the Democrats seeking to be the party’s presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren lead the pack in campaign contributions from New Mexico residents.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who also ran for president four years ago, had received $64,095 from New Mexico donors through June, while Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, had received $62,163.

They were slightly ahead of Kamala Harris – a U.S. senator from California who got $49,557 – and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who had raked in slightly more than $43,000 from New Mexicans. That figure that does not include money he received at two Santa Fe fundraisers this month.

Among other Democratic presidential hopefuls, former Vice President Joe Biden received $34,723 from New Mexico donors, and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas got $34,360, including $1,000 from Santa Fe author George R. R. Martin.

Some of O’Rourke’s contributions came during his run for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas last year.

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