Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
While Sheriff Manuel Gonzales is busy fighting a decision that cost him over $600,000 in public campaign funding, a political action committee working to get him elected Albuquerque's next mayor showed it has dramatically out-raised the opposition.
The Save Our City committee – which is supporting Gonzales in this year's race – brought in $52,500 in cash in the last month, according to a campaign finance report filed Monday.
That's compared to the $9,235 in cash contributions collected by Build Back 'Burque, the committee backing Mayor Tim Keller in his reelection bid.
Save Our City now has an $84,969 cash balance. Build Back 'Burque has $17,885.
The three biggest Save Our City donors in the last month were Los Lunas attorney David Chavez and two Albuquerque-based companies: International Protective Service Inc. and Cortazar Laboratories. They each gave $5,000. Florida-based Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, meanwhile, contributed $2,500.
As for Build Back 'Burque, a single donor – Mesa del Sol managing partner and businessman Steven Chavez – accounted for over half of last month's fundraising with his $5,000 contribution. Robert Durham, who is listed as not currently employed, gave $1,000, while retiree Marla Painter gave $1,000. Lobbyist Sandy Buffett contributed $950, according to the report.
Keller is running a publicly financed campaign and has been certified for the taxpayer-funded pot of about $661,000.
Gonzales also was attempting to run on public financing, but his application was rejected last week by the City Clerk. He is appealing.
Publicly financed candidates generally cannot take private contributions. However, PACs supporting them can raise and spend private money.
In the last month, Save Our City spent $26,305 – most of it ($20,000) to James Hallinan's consulting firm, Purple Strategies, according to records.
Build Back 'Burque spent $13,350. The biggest item was $6,000 to Maryland-based New Blue Interactive for campaign consulting.