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SANTA FE (AP) — Two outside political groups free from New Mexico’s campaign contribution limits spent nearly $4 million to influence legislative races, which ended up with Democrats retaining control of the House and Senate.
According to a campaign finance report filed on Thursday, a political committee with ties to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez spent $2.4 million in the primary and general election campaigns. The group — Reform New Mexico Now — paid for advertising and mailings in 31 House and Senate races, including several Democratic primary contests, according to Jay McCleskey, the governor’s political adviser.
A Democratic-leaning political group called Patriot Majority New Mexico dumped almost $1.4 million into general election contests. The group was formed in August and received most of its money from labor unions. It backed about 20 House and Senate candidates, according to Craig Varoga, the PAC’s president and a Washington, D.C.-based Democratic strategist.
The two political committees were the biggest spenders in legislative contests, and were free to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money because they didn’t coordinate their campaign strategy with candidates.
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