Republican New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Judith Nakamura is stepping up her campaign to stay on the state’s top court.
The first-term appointee reserved more than $90,000 in ad time for the fall, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission.
Nakamura is buying more than 250 ads on four Albuquerque TV stations from Oct. 18 through Nov. 8, according to contracts filed with the FCC.
Her total is less than the $110,000 her Democratic opponent Michael Vigil has spent to book time for 900 ads to run on TV and cable in the weeks leading up to the November election.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Nakamura last November for the open Supreme Court seat, choosing her over Vigil, a finalist for the seat. Vigil is chief judge of the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
Once appointed, justices must run for election in the next general election. If they win, they run unopposed in a “retention” election, which asks voters whether or not the judge should be retained.
Comcast has yet to report Nakamura booking ads on cable or satellite channels, according to the FCC filings.
New Mexico’s judicial elections are funded publicly by the Voter Action Act. Nakamura has received $205,180 in public funding, while receiving 50 individual contributions ranging from $5 to $100 for an additional total of $4,475.
Vigil has received $218,882 in public funding while donating $5,000 to his campaign.
Public financing allocations are based on the number of registered voters in a candidate’s party.