Money - big money - still rules

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By Ralph Damiani

As the race for governor gets going (it is still mid-2009 right?) the key will be who gets the most montey fastest.

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is off to a good start.

The Associated Press reports that she has raised more than a half-million dollars during the past three months for her front-running campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor next year.

Denish had a cash balance of nearly $1.9 million in her campaign account at the end of June, according to a report released Wednesday by the campaign.

State law does not require gubernatorial candidates to file a campaign finance report until next year, but Denish voluntarily issues quarterly fundraising disclosures.

Bill Richardson is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2010. Denish was Richardson’s running mate in 2002 and 2006.

Denish collected $512,374 in monetary contributions and $18,327 worth of in-kind contributions of goods and services. Her campaign spent $239,066, including nearly $52,000 on consulting.

Labor unions and gambling interests were among Denish’s largest contributors.

The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters contributed $25,200 and the New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council gave $11,500.

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