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Weh loans campaign $600,000

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Funds helped finance a TV advertising blitz

By Barry Massey

SANTA FE — Former state Republican Party chairman Allen Weh lent his gubernatorial campaign an additional $600,000 this month, helping to finance an advertising blitz on television and radio as the primary election neared.

As the five-way GOP race for governor has heated up, Weh relied on personal money for the bulk of his fundraising during the past three weeks, according to a campaign finance report filed Thursday. Besides the loan, he collected $41,366 in contributions from individuals and businesses.

Doña Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez raised $721,308 and had cash-on-hand of $139,135, according to a statement by her campaign.

Weh’s latest loan brought to $1.6 million the amount of personal money he has pumped into his bid for the GOP nomination for governor. That’s more than 70 percent of the $2.2 million in monetary and in-kind contributions he collected since launching his campaign last year.

Weh reported a cash balance of $52,820.

His campaign spent $940,593 since early this month, with more than $700,000 going for broadcast advertising.

Weh and Martinez recently have been airing hard-hitting TV ads directed at each other. A poll published by the Albuquerque Journal earlier this month indicated Martinez and Weh were the front-runners in the race for the GOP nomination.

Weh and several other candidates filed campaign finance reports despite the secretary of state extending the deadline a day, until Friday. A power outage in Santa Fe on Thursday disrupted the agency’s computer system.

In the GOP gubernatorial race, Pete Domenici Jr. raised $81,155, including personal loans of $55,000. His campaign spent $96,752 and had a cash balance of $9,261.

Domenici has dropped $225,000 in personal money into has campaign so far with loans and contributions. That’s more than $2 of every $5 that he’s raised.

State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones collected $21,945 in contributions during the past three weeks, including a loan of $8,880 from her campaign treasurer, Roger Nagel, an Albuquerque accountant.

Her campaign spent $35,690 and had cash-on-hand of $8,378.

Martinez and Doug Turner, who owns an Albuquerque public relations company, plan to file their finance reports on Friday.

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish issued a statement that her gubernatorial campaign had raised almost $465,000 in the past three weeks and had a cash balance of $2.6 million. She is unopposed in Tuesday’s primary election.

The latest campaign finance reports cover fundraising from May 4 through Tuesday. They provide the last complete look at spending and contributions before the primary election.