GOP Gov. Susana Martinez outspent Democratic challenger 7-to-1 in final campaign stretch



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SANTA FE, New Mexico — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez outspent Democratic challenger Gary King nearly 7-to-1 during a critical stretch of New Mexico's race for governor as early voting got underway, according to campaign finance disclosures filed Thursday.

Martinez pumped $2.4 million into her re-election bid during the past three weeks. Of that, $1.6 million was spent on television and radio ads, $311,000 went for mailers sent to voters, and $163,500 paid for polling.

King reported spending $363,245 during the same period — from Oct. 7 through Tuesday. That included $280,000 for TV and radio ads.

The latest reports showed Martinez continuing to hold a hefty cash advantage over King, a two-term attorney general.

Martinez collected $406,114 in contributions while King raised $249,687, of which $160,000 came from personal loans from the Democrat, who's the son of New Mexico's long-serving governor, the late Bruce King, and part of a prominent ranching family.

Labor unions contributed nearly $15,500 to King.

The Democratic candidate has been the main source of funding for his campaign, lending $666,406 so far for his the primary and general bid for governor. King won a five-way primary in June while Martinez ran unopposed.

The governor reported cash reserves in her re-election account of $708,693 as of Tuesday, and King had $10,103 on hand.

Among Martinez's top contributors included a half dozen members of a ranching family, who gave a combined $36,400. John and Megan Richardson and their Sierra County ranch business gave $15,600. Other family members in Florida and Tennessee gave $20,800.

Billionaire Stephen Bechtel of San Francisco and his wife contributed $10,400. He is part of a family that founded and continues to run a large privately owned construction and engineering company, Bechtel.

The latest campaign fundraising disclosures were filed with the secretary of state's office as candidates focus on turning out supporters at the polls. Early voting ends Saturday and Election Day is Tuesday.

Martinez has aired about 8,500 TV ads through Oct. 27 at a cost of about $3.9 million while King had spent about $546,600 to broadcast about 1,040 ads through the same time for the primary and general elections, according to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, which is based in Washington, D.C.

The figures don't include spending for ads on local cable TV, radio and online. That means the total spending on political ads can be higher.

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