Among the pack of Democratic candidates running for Northern New Mexico’s open congressional seat, outed former CIA spy Valerie Plame of Santa Fe led in fundraising Monday, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The first reports from the campaigns also led to the first sniping between candidates in the crowded race.
Plame reported raising $236,373. However, totals from two other candidates were in the same ballpark: Santa Fe District Attorney Marco Serna said he gathered $232,940 and Santa Fe lawyer Teresa Leger Fernandez reported $193,121.
Two other candidates also had filed statements by 8 p.m. Monday. State Rep. Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde, said he collected $43,520 and Bernalillo-area businessman Rob Apodaca listed a total of $36,437 in contributions plus a $65,000 loan to his campaign.
Republican candidate Brett Kokinadis of Santa Fe reported raising $300 and loaning his campaign $7,901.
Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya announced her candidacy early this month, after the June 30 cut-off for this reporting period.
All seek to replace U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is giving up the 3rd Congressional District seat he has held for a decade to run for the U.S. Senate.
In a news release Monday, Plame’s campaign took a jab at rival Serna for accepting a $2,800 contribution from Public Service Company Of New Mexico Responsible Citizens Group. “Plame’s campaign was the first in the race to pledge not to take corporate PAC money,” the release said.
Asked for a response, Serna’s campaign spokesman JonCarlo Serna did not address Plame’s criticism about the PNM contribution but made a counterattack, saying, “It’s embarrassing for her as she hid where 90 percent of her campaign contributions came from by not listing them in her finance report. Marco filed every contribution on his report, so will Valerie follow suit and transparently tell New Mexicans where tens of thousands of dollars of her campaign contributions came from?”
When asked what he was referring to, he cited the statement in Plame’s press release that she received “3,889 individual donations” while her report only listed 368 contributions. He also cited $76,000 in “unitemized” contributions included in her report.
Plame’s campaign couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Plame’s filing said she spent $38,836, leaving her campaign $197,536 in the bank. Among her contributors: actor Bryan Cranston, star of the Breaking Bad television series, which was shot mostly in Albuquerque ($2,800); retired ABC newsman Sam Donaldson ($1,250); MASH star Mike Farrell ($500); Thurgood Marshall Jr., son of the late U.S. Supreme Court justice ($500); and Nancy Zeckendorf, who has been active in Santa Fe’s arts community ($500).
Serna reported spending $14,428 and having $218,511 cash on hand. His biggest contributors were his parents: mother Barbara Serna ($5,600) and father Eric Serna, a former state insurance superintendent ($5,175). Other contributors included Hobbs businessman Johnny Cope ($2,000) and state Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe ($500).
Leger Fernandez spent $24,427, her report said, leaving her campaign with $168,694. Her contributors include former Appeals Court Judge Celia Foy Castillo ($5,600); Mariel Nanasi, director of New Energy Economy, a Santa Fe clean energy advocacy group ($2,500); former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish ($500); former state Sen. Janice Paster ($500); retired Appeals Judge Lynn Pickard ($500); state Sen. Liz Stefanics ($250); state Rep. Deborah Armstrong ($250); and actress Ali MacGraw ($250).
Sanchez spent $3,465 and reported $40,054 in the bank. His contributors include lobbyist Dan Najjar ($1,000) and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo ($1,000). Sanchez also gave $2,000 to his campaign.
Apodaca’s report says he spent $3,358 and has $98,078 cash on hand. His contributors include Pojoaque Pueblo ($5,600) and Santa Fe County Manager Katherine Miller ($500).