Public Regulation Commissioner Joseph Maestas, who is running for state auditor, has returned a $250 campaign donation from an attorney who is a key player before the PRC.

Maestas wrote Friday in a text message he believes the donation in December from Mariel Nanasi of the nonprofit New Energy Economy was “legitimate” but that it nevertheless “became a distraction to our campaign” and was returned.

His opponent in the June 7 Democratic primary race for state auditor, Zack Quintero, reiterated Friday he felt Maestas never should have accepted the donation. Quintero called Nanasi “one of the most high-profile attorneys in the energy sector in New Mexico.”

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