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Most county, state candidates report funding

(Since this story appeared, the Observer has verified that five candidates in the June 3 primary who were reported to have missed the 5 p.m. April 14 deadline to file campaign finance reports, did, in fact, file on time.

State Reps. Jane Powdrell-Culbert, Jason Harper and Tim Lewis and state representative candidate Donna Tillman submitted their recent reports by the deadline.

An Observer search for 2014 reports Monday evening, after the deadline, failed to find reports from those individuals. By late afternoon Thursday, all but Lewis’s report were showing up in the online database for 2014. The Observer found Lewis’s report still filed under the 2012 campaign season.

Other reports, including Harper’s, were filed in the database under the 2012 campaign as late as lunchtime Thursday.


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Ken Ortiz from the secretary’s office said Thursday no reports were erroneously assigned and no information was ever lost or deleted. Rather, the system correctly defaulted to the 2012 campaign season instead of 2014, he said
Those candidates “filed their 2014 April reports in their older campaign before we had created their new 2014 CFIS campaign,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said the secretary’s office has “transferred any balances/campaign debt,” which resolves the 2012 and 2014 confusion in the database for most candidates.

The Observer also incorrectly reported that Daniel Tallon, a candidate for Division I magistrate judge, did not meet the deadline. He filed a timely report with the secretary of state, but it was not, as of Thursday night, retrievable through a search for Sandoval County candidates in the database.

A story with additional details will appear in Sunday’s Observer.)

Several local candidates for state and county elections might have to pay fines after missing a deadline for filing reports with the New Mexico Secretary of State of their campaign contributions and expenditures.

Candidates who expect to appear on a primary or general election ballot this year were required, by 5 p.m. Monday, to file their first campaign finance report, covering the period from Oct. 7, 2013, to April 7.

Anyone who missed the deadline might have to pay $50 for each working day until they submit a satisfactory report, according to state law.

Democratic and Republican candidates will face each other during the Nov. 4 general election, after candidates for each office and from each party emerge from their respective primaries on June 3. Certain judges run for retention without a party label.


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State representatives

Members of the New Mexico House of Representatives serve two-year terms. Every lawmaker in that chamber had to decide this year whether to run again.

Paul Pacheco, Republican incumbent of Albuquerque who represents part of Rio Rancho in District 23, had an opening balance of $23,556.52. He then raised $28,387.50, with $4,800 each from Devon Energy Production and Builders Trust of New Mexico. He spent $4,248.10, partly on fundraisers.

Pacheco represents a swing district, which Republicans hope to retain while pursuing their goal of becoming the majority party in the House, which has not happened since 1953.

Catherine Begaye, an Albuquerque Democrat who hopes to take Pacheco’s seat, raised $2,325, with almost half coming from other Democratic state representatives. She has spent $26.58, primarily as fees for accepting online donations.

Rep. Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert, a Republican in Corrales who represents District 44 and faces no competition, did not have a 2014 primary campaign finance report on file with the secretary as of Monday evening.

Republican Jason Harper, who represents District 57 in Rio Rancho, did not upload a report to the secretary’s website on Monday.

Donna Tillman, a Democrat seeking the District 57 seat, likewise did not file a report.

Tim Lewis, a Republican who holds the District 60 seat in Rio Rancho, also failed to turn in a report.

Democrat Linda Allison, who wants to replace Lewis, received $210 in contributions and spent $15 on bank account fees.

County sheriff

Incumbent Sheriff Doug Wood has fallen behind in fund-raising.

Democrat Jesse Casaus of Placitas led the pack in fundraising. He loaned his campaign $5,000 and had $6,735 in total contributions. He reported spending $5,042.88, with $3,929.06 going to of Houston for campaign signs, magnets and bumper stickers.

Wood, a Republican, had an opening balance of $2,744.50. He reported $1,250 in contributions, from a towing business and individuals in law enforcement, and $1,345.28 in expenditures, almost all of which paid for signs.

John Paul Trujillo, a Democrat in Rio Rancho, was in third place in fundraising. He gathered $850 in donations, all from local residents, and spent $240.26, primarily on campaign signs and other materials.

County assessor

The county assessor has more people trying to take his job than anyone else on the ballot in Rio Rancho.

Republican Tom Garcia, the incumbent, failed to file a report.

Leroy Lovato was the leading Republican fundraiser. He raised $1,198.81, almost of all which came from his own funds, and has spent none of it so far.

Democrat Antonio Montoya gave his campaign $620.34, which he spent on signs, gas, magnets and business cards.

Pete Salazar, the third Republican in the race, received $150 in contributions and has no expenses.

Probate judge

Neither candidate for probate judge faces opposition in the primary.

Charles Aguilar, the Democratic incumbent in the probate judge race, has no campaign finance report showing up on the secretary’s website.

Republican Lawrence D. McClain loaned his campaign $671.93. He has spent $329.88, on a checkbook, filing fees, membership fees, palm cards and training for public speaking.

County commission

Two of the five seats on the county commission will see some action in elections this year.

Incumbent Republican Don Chapman, who serves District 3, came out ahead in fundraising for his seat. He raised $2,265, with $1,000 coming from Reform Sandoval County PAC. He spent $634.62, primarily to cover the costs of signs, meet-and-greets and gas while campaigning.

Republican challenger Michael MacDonald received his sole contribution of $500 from Donald Leonard of Albuquerque. He has spent zero funds so far.

The District 1 seat on the county commission is up for grabs because Orlando Lucero faces term limits after nearly eight years in office. Two candidates are seeking the position.

Democrat R. James Dominguez of Bernalillo gave his campaign $583, which represented his total contributions. He spent the same amount on a campaign event and website, as well as printing door hangers and cards.

Gary Miles, a Republican in Placitas, reported he received no contributions and made no expenditures.

Magistrate judges

Two magistrate judges who serve lower Sandoval County are running for re-election.

Richard L. Zanotti, the Division I incumbent, loaned his campaign $5,000, to which he added $3,200 in contributions, almost all from attorneys. He has spent $7,026.94, mostly on billboards and yard signs.

Democratic challenger Daniel Tallon did not submit a report.

Magistrate Judge Delilah Montano-Baca, the incumbent for Division III, indicated in her campaign finance report that she had neither raised nor spent any money. She is a Democrat from Pena Blanca and faces no opposition in the primary or the general.

Division II, which operates out of Cuba, serves northern Sandoval County.

District judges

Rio Rancho residents will elect four state judges in November.

District Court Judges John F. Davis and George P. Eichwald, as well as Chief Judge Louis P. McDonald, all of whom serve Sandoval County in the 13th Judicial District, each reported raising and spending $0 for their retention elections.

The names of those judges will appear, without party affiliations, on the general election ballot. They need 57 percent of the votes to secure retention.

Sandoval County will receive an additional district court judge this summer, after the Legislature approved new judgeships earlier this year. Voters will choose between two candidates in the November election.

“Newly appointed judges must run in a contested, partisan election at the next general election,” says the secretary’s 2014 primary election candidate guide for major party candidates. “Thereafter, the judge runs in nonpartisan retention elections.”

Next steps

Candidates who missed the reporting deadline will soon receive a letter from the secretary, who may waive the required fines if those candidates submit a timely explanation, according to the secretary’s guide to campaign finance and campaign reporting.

Because the deadline for candidates to withdraw from the primary election has passed, the secretary can no longer remove from the ballot any candidate who fails to file a report or pay required fines. Instead state law directs the secretary to withhold any certificate of nomination or election.

The next deadline for campaign finance reports is May 12.