July 18, 2014

Deep-pocket national GOP groups name NM House takeover a national priority, promise big dollars to fight progressives

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Two national Republican groups with deep pockets named a conservative takeover of New Mexico’s State House of Representatives a top priority this week, elevating key house races to national priorities and promising big dollars to support House candidates.

 

From NM Telegram:

A conservative Republican group announced it would use money to help Republicans take over control of the state House of Representatives…

The press release said it listed New Mexico as one of its three top spots for Republicans to take over the House, along with West Virginia and Kentucky’s House chambers. Many pundits believe that this year is the Republicans’ best chance in some time to do so.

Republicans will have a popular gubernatorial candidate running at the top of the ticket and one of the narrowest Democratic majorities in recent history.

The group also outlined which Republican candidates it would help.

The group’s release said they would play defense on State Representatives Kelly Fajardo, Paul Pacheco, Sharon Clahchischilliage and Terry McMillan in their bids for reelection. In races where Democrats hold the seats, or there are open seats, the group named Republican candidates Geoff Rodgers, Rick Little, Sarah Maestas Barnes and Conrad James. The group named former State Rep. Andy Nuñez, who switched parties first from Democrat to decline-to-state and then from decline-to-state to Republican, as an incumbent, though he lost his seat in 2012.

The group said the candidates would have “direct financial support” from GOPAC in their races.

The districts in question are nine of the ten that locals believe will be key to control of the House….

Despite its name GOPAC is actually a 527 group. Its major donors include the Devon Group, an oil and gas company that is a frequent donor to Republicans in New Mexico. Devon Energy has donated over $400,000 to the state Republican Party over the years and the company gave $50,000 to Susana Martinez’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign with another $10,554 donated this year. The company has also donated to groups like the Republican State Leadership Committee which help elect Republicans in down-ballot state races. – Read the full story here.

 

And from KRQE, Alex Goldsmith comes this news that another well-funded national Republican committee is also targeting the NM House:

Currently, Democrats enjoy a 37-33 edge in the House, meaning a two-seat swing would be enough to knot up the chamber.

Thursday, one national GOP group confirmed it was going to try and help move the needle. GOPAC, which funds Republican candidates across the US, announced in a news release that it would be funding nine Republican candidates in New Mexico including four incumbent representatives

Also Thursday, the Republican State Leadership Committee reaffirmed its interest in state House races in New Mexico. Of the top 14 individual races the group is eyeing nationwide, two of them are for state House seats in Albuquerque.

Specifics on how much the groups plan on spending in New Mexico haven’t been revealed at this point.

“I don’t know what we can expect yet so it remains to be seen what kind of money we’re looking at,” Gentry said. “But I think everyone acknowledges that New Mexico’s very much in play.” – Read the full story here.