Candidates for New Mexico governor gearing up for election

Campaign finance rules affect how candidates campaign

New Mexico Governor's Race

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Election Day may be behind us, but now all eyes in New Mexico are on the race for governor.

New campaign finance rules are affecting the race to the governor's mansion.

Before 2010, candidates for governor could accept an unlimited amount of donations. New rules have limited how much candidates can accept from people or political action committees (PACs). That means finding new strategies to raise money.

Governor Susana Martinez is running for re-election in 2014. She told ABC-7 she had to adopt a whole new strategy this time around.

"Now you have to broaden my base and be able to travel to different parts of the country that see what is happening in New Mexico and would like to see me get re-elected. Going to different parts of the country are helpful so I can continue to grow that bank account so I can get re-elected," Martinez said.

Democrat Attorney General Gary King also threw his name into the hat for this race. He said the campaign limits are a good thing for New Mexico.

"I think there's much too much influence of money in campaigns. What's happened is because of the Citizens United case, we now have sort of unlimited money that can be spent by these entities that we don't even know who's donating to the entities," King told ABC-7.

According to new campaign rules, candidates can accept up to $5,200 for the primary election and $5,200 for the general election from individuals and PACs.

Martinez's campaign has a cash balance of more than $3 million. Her biggest contributors include health care companies, as well as oil and gas companies. Many of her biggest contributors are companies that have contracts with the state.

King's campaign has around $142,000. His biggest contributors are lawyers from around the country.

Both candidates seem to have different strategies when it comes to where they're campaigning.

"It is challenging because the amounts are smaller, so you have to broaden your base and go to places that want to come and do business in New Mexico or just like what we're doing in New Mexico and just want good government," Martinez said.

"That kind of one-on-one campaigning is something I really enjoy, so I look forward to being in communities all over New Mexico and talk to people where they can ask me what I really stand for," King said.

The election for governor will be held in Nov. 2014.

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