Money Flows in for New Mexico Governor’s Re-election Campaign | Local News

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is called a lot of different things.

Add “rainmaker” to the list.

Over the past six months, Lujan Grisham has garnered thousands of individual campaign contributions totaling more than $ 2.53 million for his reelection bid in November 2022. less than $ 1 million, according to fundraising reports campaign filed earlier this month.

Lujan Grisham’s money has poured in from donors in New Mexico and across the country.

While most contributions were $ 100 or less, the governor collected some 200 contributions of $ 1,000 – cha Ching – and more than 300 contributions of $ 2,000 or more – cha-ching, cha-ching.

And that’s not all. More than a dozen well-heeled donors have contributed up to $ 20,800 to the governor’s campaign. Two of those donors actually exceeded the campaign contribution limit, one by $ 10,000 and the other by $ 4,200, forcing Lujan Grisham’s campaign to return the excess funds and file an amended report.

Among the elite class contributors was Das Nobel, CEO of MTX Group Inc., a global technology consultancy that has received nearly $ 12.2 million in “emergency supply” contracts from the. state government under the Lujan Grisham administration.

Nobel paid the maximum amount in October, less than two months after the state’s Department of Economic Development announced it was committing $ 2 million from the Law on Job Creation Fund. local economic development to help MTX open a southwestern regional office in New Mexico. The company’s expansion in Albuquerque is expected to create 250 new, well-paying jobs in the state over the next five years.

“MTX’s payroll is expected to reach $ 20 million and the direct economic impact in New Mexico is estimated at $ 347 million over the next 10 years,” according to a press release issued at the time.

Nobel did not resend messages left at his company. But he touted MTX’s partnership with the state in August.

“The state’s incentives mean the business can grow and hire faster, which means we can better serve local communities in New Mexico with the results of happiness, health and outcomes in mind. economy and throughout the southwest, “Nobel said in a statement. “MTX is delighted to partner with the State of New Mexico to keep local talent in the Land of Enchantment.”

Lujan Grisham’s campaign spokesperson Kendall Witmer did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Witmer has been paid more than $ 25,700 in the past six months, according to Lujan Grisham’s campaign finance report.

This amount is almost covered by one of the maximum contributions.

John and Marlene Bingaman of Santa Fe, spouses whose contributions were listed separately, made a combined donation of $ 20,800 to Lujan Grisham’s re-election campaign. John Bingaman was the governor’s chief of staff until November 2020, when he left the administration to resume his former leadership role at a private investment firm.

Another couple also contributed the maximum amount, but the couple did so individually.

Billionaire heiress Amy Goldman Fowler and her husband, farmer Morgan C. Fowler, contributed $ 41,600 to Lujan Grisham’s campaign in May. Efforts to reach the couple, whose New York address is listed in the governor’s campaign fundraising report, have been unsuccessful.

In June, Albuquerque businessman Steven B. Chavez also gave the governor the maximum allowed.

Chavez was prepared to give the governor even more money. In October, he sent Lujan Grisham’s campaign an additional $ 10,000, which the campaign reimbursed because the amount exceeded the limit, according to the campaign finances report. Chavez, president and CEO of Integrated Control Systems, a team of design and construction specialists, did not return any messages seeking comment.

Lujan Grisham, who called a special session this year to legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico, has received several donations from the cannabis industry.

But only one marijuana-related company maximized its contribution amount during the last campaign reporting period, which covered April through October.

Albuquerque-based management group PurLife donated the maximum amount to the governor’s campaign on September 14. One of the company’s dispensaries gave the governor an additional $ 10,400 the next day. This dispensary had contributed $ 10,000 to Lujan Grisham’s campaign in June, for a total of $ 41,200 from PurLife and one of its affiliates.

The company is run by Darren White, a former Bernalillo County Sheriff and former Cabinet Secretary for the state’s Department of Public Safety who was once against the legalization of marijuana, but is now one of the biggest state cannabis producers. White, who worked at Gary Johnson’s firm, did not return a message seeking comment.

Four other cannabis-related entities – three producers and the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce – contributed $ 75,400. One of those producers, Bright Green Corp., almost hit its peak, contributing $ 20,400 to the governor’s campaign.

Lujan Grisham’s campaign received four additional contributions of $ 20,800 in September.

One was from the Democratic Governors Association, which Lujan Grisham chairs.

Christina Amestoy, spokesperson for the association, wrote in an email that Lujan Grisham has been “a proven leader” throughout his first term.

Another large donation came from investor Ian McKinnon, an Albuquerque native who is the founding partner of Connecticut-based Sandia Holdings LLC. McKinnon, who sits on the boards of the Santa Fe Institute and the Albuquerque Academy, did not return a message seeking comment.

Radio personality Elvis Duran, host of the nationwide weekday morning radio show Elvis Duran and the morning show in New York, gave the governor the maximum allowed last month. Duran, who is friends with former Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzales, also did not return a message seeking comment.

The other maximum contribution in September is linked to the Garcia Automotive group based in Albuquerque. Garcia Infiniti and Garcia Subaru each contributed $ 10,400 to the governor’s campaign on the same day. Carlos Garcia, one of the company’s executives, did not return a message seeking comment.

Lujan Grisham received four maximum contributions last month, including that of Nobel, the boss of MTX.

Intrepid Potash, however, exceeded the contribution limit, giving the governor $ 25,000. The Associated Press reported Thursday that the campaign returned $ 4,200 to the Denver-based mining company after an opposition political committee dubbed STOP MLG reported it.

The other two big donors, Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, a wholesale electricity supplier, and billionaire Illinois Governor Jay Robert Pritzker, also a Democrat, have obeyed state law and stayed within limits.

The governor received multiple contributions from 11 of the Native American tribes of New Mexico. Together, they contributed $ 69,900 to the governor’s campaign during the last reporting period.

About Kristina McManus

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