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Heinrich tops NM congressional fundraising

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By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich has the largest campaign warchest of candidates running for New Mexico's congressional seats, according to the latest federal campaign finance reports.

Heinrich, who represents the Albuquerque-area 1st District, had cash-on-hand of slightly more than $1 million at the end of March. His Republican challenger, Jon Barela, had a campaign balance of $392,359.

In the 2nd District of southern New Mexico, Democratic incumbent Harry Teague had campaign cash of $927,301. Republican challenger Steve Pearce, a former congressman, had $708,892. GOP candidate Cliff Pirtle said he did not plan to raise or spend more than $5,000 on his campaign, which is the threshold for filing FEC reports.

In the 3rd District of northern New Mexico, Democratic incumbent Ben Ray Lujan had cash-on-hand of $375,036. Republicans Tom Mullins of Farmington had $28,681 and Adam Kokesh of Santa Fe had $12,003.

Heinrich received contributions of $300,234 in January-March, and his campaign spent $90,123. Labor union political action committees provided about $24,000, while health care industry PACs contributed about $16,500.

Barela, an Albuquerque lawyer, raised $232,188 and spent $55,015. Contributing $5,000 to Barela were the New Mexico Republican Party, the Associated Builders and Contractors' PAC and political committees affiliated with U.S. House Republican Leader John Boehner and Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Heinrich and Teague won congressional seats in 2008 that had been held by Republicans for decades.

Teague collected contributions of $132,843 and spent $91,241. The PAC of Public Service Co. of New Mexico, the state's largest electric utility, contributed $5,000, and other utility industry PACs gave $5,000. Gov. Bill Richardson contributed $500. Labor union PACs provided about $8,000.

Pearce, who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008 rather than seek re-election in the 2nd District, reported contributions of $277,448 and spent $138,101. Donating $5,000 were the state GOP; a PAC of Koch Industries, a Kansas-based privately held oil company; a political committee of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee; and the House Conservatives Fund, which is backed by conservative members of Congress.

Lujan, a Santa Fe Democrat elected in 2008, collected $150,297 in contributions and spent $61,579. Five Native American tribes in New Mexico contributed almost $11,900, including $3,300 from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Labor union PACs gave $21,500.

Kokesh received contributions of $57,196 and his campaign spent $50,068. He got $3,000 from a PAC affiliated with Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. Mullins' campaign reported $26,102 in contributions and spending of $28,399.