This October's election is the first publicly financed Mayor's race in Albuquerque's history. Taxpayers are funding all three 2009 mayoral campaigns. It will be the second publicly funded city councilor's race.
Friday was the first financial disclosure deadline for the candidates.
It's no surprise that incumbent mayor Marty Chavez, who only formally announced his intentions to seek a record third straight term, and fourth overall, last Sunday, has spent the least amount of his city funded treasury, but it appears Chavez took legal advantage of additional money, he had collected from donations he received for a possible gubernatorial run.
In December 2008, he reported to the NM Secretary of State's office that he spent $22,350 with Lake Research and another $4,481.90 with InteleServices for a political robo call.
The robo call asked respondents if they "think the Mayor of Albuquerque, Marty Chavez, is doing a good job as mayor, and if the election were held tomorrow would you vote for him for re-election?"
On Friday, Chavez reported he paid nationally renowned political website producer Buzz, Inc. $6079.50 to build a new site for this fourth mayoral campaign since 1993. He also received in kind contributions of $3,245, including nearly a $1000 in legal services from personal-injury attorney Will Ferguson. The Chavez team also paid $716 to rent the Taylor Ranch Community Center for his campaign announcement last Sunday. The largest expenditure reported was to $10,000 Resolution Graphics and another $7928.55 to Gold Communications.
Chavez campaign manager Mark Fleisher received $3,000 and was credited for another $2,000 in in-kind contributions.
Republican state lawmaker Richard "RJ" Berry reported spending the most of the three candidates. His financial disclosure indicates he's spent $66,258.72 on his campaign. Richard Romero has spent $60,631.31, and Mayor Martin Chavez has spent the least. He reported expenses of $36,970.91 with another $3,245 received in in-kind contributions.
Berry's political consultant Lincoln Strategy Group has earned $17,253.27. The campaign also paid National Ballot Acces $12,512.32.
Romero, meanwhile paid former campaign manager Neri Holguin $17,917.05. Holguin resigned from the campaign, and was replaced by Murray Fishel, a nationally known campaign consultant, during the 4th of July holiday.
The financial disclosure reports are available online.
Each candidate qualified for public financing by April 1st. All three had to collect 3,287 contributions of $5 each from registered Albuquerque voters in a six-week period ending March 31. Mayor Chavez qualified for the most money $328,680. Richard Berry received $319,220. Richard Romero' report did not indicate how much he received in public financing.