Challenger outpaces Gary King

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Republican candidate Matthew Chandler has raised more campaign money in the past month

By Barry Massey

SANTA FE  — Republican attorney general candidate Matthew Chandler raised more campaign money during the past month than Democratic incumbent Gary King, according to the latest state fundraising reports.

The reports showed that Chandler collected $41,838 in contributions, and King raised $14,140. Both candidates are unopposed in the June 1 primary.

Incumbents typically have a significant fundraising advantage, but Chandler has nearly as much money in his campaign account as King. He reported cash-on-hand of $103,123 as of last week, and Chandler had a balance of $98,976.

Chandler is the district attorney in the 9th Judicial District of Curry and Roosevelt counties in eastern New Mexico.

The latest campaign finance reports cover fundraising from April 6 through May 3. Monday was the deadline for candidates to file the disclosures with the secretary of state’s office.

They showed that Chandler spent $5,582, and King had expenditures of $4,239.

The top contributor to Chandler was Artesia oilman Robert Chase, who gave $10,000. Michael Garrett, a Clovis lawyer, contributed $5,000, while Hank Baskett, a professional football player who grew up in Clovis, gave $3,000.

King received $5,000 from a company affiliated with former state Rep. Robert Light, who is a Carlsbad Democrat, and $1,000 from the political action committee of Albuquerque-based Animal Protection Voters.

In the race for state land commissioner, Republican Bob Cornelius reported the largest campaign balance among the Democratic and GOP candidates for the office, with $100,661. He received contributions of $650 during the past month and spent $1,239. Cornelius previously had lent $100,000 to his campaign.

Republican Matthew Rush had $9,658 in cash on-hand. He collected $5,900 in contributions but had no expenditures.

Democrat Ray Powell, who was land commissioner in 1993-2002, had a campaign balance of $38,440. He raised $11,424 and spent $28,385, with more than 80 percent of that going for advertising.

Democrat Sandy Jones, a member of the Public Regulation Commission, had $10,213 in his campaign account. He raised $8,928 and spent $8,672.

Former Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya’s campaign reported a deficit of $3,174. He raised $7,229 and spent $13,163.

Other fundraising summaries for other statewide offices include:

• Secretary of State Mary Herrera, a Democrat, received $987 in contributions, spent $779 and had cash-on-hand of $43,118. Republican Dianna Duran, a state senator from Tularosa, raised $2,000, spent $1,418 and had a balance of $1,924.

• State Treasurer James Lewis, a Democrat, received $400 in contributions, spent $390 and had a balance of $28,547. Republican Jim Schoonover raised $2,638, spent $1,999 and had a balance of $881.

• State Auditor Hector Balderas, a Democrat, raised $6,735, spent $343 and had cash-on-hand of $132,624. No report was available from the secretary of state’s office for Republican Errol Chavez, whose campaign treasurer said Wednesday she was in the process of preparing the fundraising disclosure.