Democratic Secretary of State candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver is emphasizing the corruption conviction of former SOS Dianna Duran in a series of three TV ads.
Toulouse Oliver’s campaign is spending $22,000 to air two 15-second ads on KASA, KOAT, KOB and KRQE, and one 30-second ad on Kluz, Albuquerque’s Univision station, in which she makes her case in Spanish. The ads also will air on cable and satellite TV.
The ads began airing Tuesday and will continue through Monday.
Toulouse Oliver faces Republican Rep. Nora Espinoza in the Nov. 8 election after Duran resigned and pleaded guilty to charges that included embezzlement.
“Our last Secretary of State went to jail,” Toulouse Oliver says in one spot. “Things have got to change.”
Duran defeated Toulouse Oliver for a second term in 2014. But in late August 2015, Attorney General Hector Baldaras filed a 64-count indictment alleging Duran used campaign money to pay for a gambling habit.
After initially proclaiming her innocence, Duran resigned in late October and pleaded guilty to six charges in a plea agreement. Despite terms of that agreement, a judge sentenced Duran to 30 days in jail.
A news release announcing the ads called them “an unprecedented early media blitz.”
Toulouse Oliver, who is currently Bernalillo County Clerk, told NMID she wanted to go on the air early because of the unusual circumstances of having a mid-term Secretary of State race.
“It’s important that we get out early and talk to voters about the issues,” she said. “We have a serious problem in state government around the issues the Secretary of State is charged with enforcing, and it needs to be addressed.”
Attempts to contact Espinoza have been unsuccessful so far. Former state Sen. Rod Adair, who was listed as a contact on early news releases from the campaign, said “I’m not sure i’ll continue work on the campaign.”
He offered to try to reach the campaign, saying, “A lot of things are up in the air.”
NMID also left a voicemail at Espinoza’s home number, with her campaign treasurer and sent emails to her personal and campaign email addresses.
Here are the three Toulouse Oliver ads: