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Candidates build warchest

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By Jay Miller

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish spent seven years building a $2 million war chest. It scared all Democratic candidates and the two major Republican possibilities out of the race, giving her what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.
Then along came Susana Martinez who raised $2 million in the past 10 weeks to basically wipe out her fundraising disadvantage.
How did she do it? Close to half of it was out-of-state money, mostly from four big donors. Even Bill Richardson would have trouble raising that much that quickly from within the state.
It demonstrates how heavily targeted the New Mexico gubernatorial race is. This year sees a large number of gubernatorial races nationally but New Mexico is especially important because it offers an opportunity for the GOP to prevent Democrats from having their way on congressional and legislative redistricting next year.
Martinez also is very capable of winning. The Republican Party has been hurt in some primary elections by independent candidacies and by Tea Party candidates whose views will make it difficult to win a general election.
So Martinez is going to get all the national assistance she needs. In early July, I wrote about Denish’s 7-1 advantage over Martinez in their campaign accounts.


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