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Plame appears to have extended 3rd CD fundraising lead

SANTA FE – Former CIA operative Valerie Plame apparently has extended her fundraising lead, by a wide margin, over the rest of the pack seeking the Democratic nomination for the House seat from northern New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

Although official numbers for most candidates’ money-raising totals for the 2019’s third quarter hadn’t been posted on the Federal Election Commission website by late Tuesday — the deadline for candidates to file reports — several candidates had released their totals.

Plame says she raised $446,749 between July 1 and Sept. 30, making her total for the campaign, over two quarters, $686,000. Her news release said her contribution average is less than $27. She did not disclose her cash on hand.

The campaign staff of Santa Fe District Attorney Marco Serna, who had almost matched Plame in fundraising during the previous quarter, said he raised $118,257 in the latest reporting period. That gives him a total of $351,000 raised so far. His campaign said it has $289,986 in cash on hand.

Santa Fe lawyer Teresa Leger Fernandez raised $205,000 in the third quarter, giving her a total of $398,122 in receipts, surpassing Serna’s fundraising total and moving her into second in the money race. Leger said in a news release that she has $301,505 in cash on hand.

John Blair, a former deputy New Mexico secretary of state who became a candidate just six weeks ago, issued a statement saying he had raised $147,000 by the end of the third quarter.

Also running as Democrats for the 3rd CD House seat are state Rep. Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde, Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya, environmental attorney Kyle Tisdel of Taos and Gavin Kaiser of Santa Cruz.

Republicans in the race are Audra Lee Brown of Portales, who has raised $6,973, including her own loan of $2,673 to the campaign; Alexis Johnson of Santa Fe, who has raised $945; and Karen Bedonie of Farmington and Ben Bateman of White Rock, who as of late Tuesday had no campaign financing reports posted on the FEC site.

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