SANTA FE, N.M. — Surpassing $1 million in the final quarter of 2019, former CIA operative Valerie Plame ended the year as the top money raiser of all candidates in the race for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Ben Ray Luján, who is running for seat now occupied by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Udall.
Plame, a Democrat from Santa Fe, raised more than $427,000 from more than 13,700 donors in the final three months of 2019, bringing her total to $1.11 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
“A campaign’s values are reflective of who its message inspires to donate,” Plame said in a statement. “It’s encouraging that we’ve had thousands of contributions from regular working people and that our average amount is so modest.”
Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez, a Santa Fe attorney, raised the second most among the 3rd Congressional District candidates, collecting $284,179 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to raise her fundraising total to $682,398.
Since reporting the data to the FEC, Leger Fernandez has earned endorsements from the Latino Victory Fund and Sierra Club.
First Judical District Attorney Marco Serna raised $151,411 in the final quarter of 2019, bringing his total for the year to $502,958.
Among other Democrats, Santa Fean John Blair, formerly a deputy secretary of state, had raised $236,750; state Rep. Joseph Sanchez, of Alcalde, had collected $106,723; Kyle Tisdale, an environmental attorney from Taos, had generated $50,959 for his campaign; and Laura Montoya, the Sandoval County treasurer, had raised $28,460.
Plame also finished the year with the most cash on hand, according to the FEC data, with $586,539. She was followed by Leger Fernandez ($430,700), Serna ($332,746) and Blair ($142,349).
On the Republican side, Anise Golden Morper, a real estate agent with a Santa Fe mailing address, raised all of her $20,019 in the final quarter of 2019.
Karen Bedonie, of the Mexican Springs chapter of the Navajo Nation, generated a little more than $15,000 in the final three months to finish the year with $15,477.
Other Republicans vying for the seat are Audra Lee Brown, of Portales, who finished the year with $7,138; Harry Montoya, legislative affairs director for the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department, who collected $4,800; and retired energy consultant Alexis Johnson, of Santa Fe, whose campaign generated $2,070.