State Representative candidates' warchests nearly even as election draws near

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By Keven Todd, Publisher

Democratic challenger Stephanie Richard and Republican incumbent Jeannette Wallace are locked in a heated race to represent District 43 in the New Mexico State House of Representatives. Based on the latest campaign finance reports filed with the secretary of state's office, the two candidates have almost equal amounts in their respective warchests heading in to the final weeks of campaigning.


However, the reports reveal that Richard has outspent Wallace nearly 3 to 1 based on the candidate's expenditure report. During this reporting period, Richard has spent $13,365 primarily on consultants and strategists. At the same time, Richard reported taking in $16,710 in contributions resulting in a closing balance of $29,740.

For the same period, Wallace spent $4,015 with the biggest outlays coming in postage and various forms of advertising. Wallace reported taking in $12,153 in contributions that resulted in a closing balance of $26,596.

Those who contributed more than $250 to Richard's campaign included Walter Matuska of Los Alamos, $500; Dennis Murphy, a Santa Fe attorney, $250; Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe attorney, $1,500; Jane Wishner, an attorney, $250; American Federation of Teachers, a union, $1,000; Los Alamos Democratic Party, $500; New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Associaton, political action committee, $500; Sallie Bingham, a Santa Fe writer, $500; and the Plumbers and Steamfitters #412, $1,000.  The full list of contributors is included along with the complete campaign finance report available with this story.

Among those who contributed more than $250 to Wallace's campaign were the New Mexico Optometric PAC, $250; Mesilla Valley Hospital, $250; Comcast, $250; Yate Petroleum Corp., $250; New Mexico Restaurant Association, $1,500; Conoco Phillips, $1,000; Realtors Association of New Mexico, $1,000; Thomas C. Taylor Election Committee, $1,000; The Williams Companies, natural gas, $500; and the Santa Fe Federated Republican Women, a political action committee, $500. The full campaign finance report is also included with this story online.

The upcoming vote

Early in this campaign, I determined that I would be supporting Stephanie Richards. One of the primary reasons for this is that I find Rep. Wallace to be very dismissive in person and in writing.

To her credit, Wallace had responded to almost every email I've sent her, however, her response usually communicates a certain level of contempt as if what she really means to say is that she got my communication but that I need not worry about the issue, she's got it under control...that she thinks I'm too stupid or uninformed to really understand or have an opinion on the issue.

Dear Rep. Wallace, if a constituent disagrees with your point of view or conclusion, it is not necessarily due their being uninformed or unintelligent. In fact, like many, when I write a letter or email to any of my elected representatives, I am sure to be very well informed about the topic of my communication. Many of us take the time to conduct our own research because we can't necessarily trust the agenda of those who buy advertising time or send people knocking on doors.

For that reason alone, Jeannette would have had a hard time winning my vote and I hope that others feel the same.