Torres Small keeps big money edge in key US House race

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, Republican U.S. House hopeful Yvette Herrell of New Mexico waits for a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M., about a GOP challenge to the way the state is counting absentee ballots. Three Republican hopefuls seeking to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small for a key southern New Mexico seat.

RIO RANCHO — A Republican candidate in a closely watched U.S. House race in Southern New Mexico has amended a campaign finance report after receiving a donation credited to a woman who had died.

Yvette Herrell’s campaign said the $2,800 donation from Joanne Harvard in June was due to a software glitch after her son and widowed husband also donated. Harvard died in April 2017.

Her son, Jeff Harvard of the Harvard Petroleum Co., said it was his fault and not done on purpose.

“The contribution in question was attributed to the wrong family member in our filing system. This was a clerical error that has been amended as shown in our current filed FEC reports,” said Herrell’s campaign manager, Michael Horanburg.

Herrell is locked in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico, however, said the explanation for the donation still raised eyebrows.

“This is the latest in a pattern of Yvette Herrell turning a blind eye to ethics laws and it’s deeply disappointing that … she is violating the very laws intended to hold candidates accountable,” said Margy Levinson, senior communications adviser for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

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