PAC ads target state House races

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A screen shot from an ad being aired by Patriot Majority New Mexico, a union-funded state level PAC.

A screen shot from an ad being aired by Patriot Majority New Mexico, a union-funded state level PAC.

A screen shot from an ad being aired by Patriot Majority New Mexico, a union-funded state level PAC.

Two political action committees are targeting state House races with television ads to air through Election Day.

Patriot Majority New Mexico, a union-funded state level PAC, is spending almost $96,000 to air 157 ads supporting Democrats and opposing Republicans in Albuquerque and El Paso.

Goal West, a federal PAC funded largely by southeast New Mexico oil and gas interests, is spending more than $47,000 to air 57 ads supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats on El Paso’s KVIA, which airs in Las Cruces and other communities in Doña Ana County.

New Mexico’s House of Representatives now has 37 Democrats and 33 Republicans. The GOP is trying to take a majority in the Nov. 4 election. The battle is also being waged on radio and via direct mail.

The latest PAC ads are just a fraction of New Mexico’s $11.4 million advertising market, which features some 244 hours worth of ads, according to an analysis by New Mexico In Depth. That analysis includes only traditional stations required to report political ad contracts to the Federal Communications Commission. The analysis doesn’t include ads on cable, satellite or radio.

The state’s U.S. Senate race also heated up last week, as Democratic Sen. Tom Udall added $133,000 in ads to bring his total to nearly $1.8 million. Allen Weh, his GOP challenger, added nearly $174,000 in ads, bringing his total to about $962,000.

And the Conservative War Chest, a federal super PAC primarily funded by a Texas-based group named America Tomorrow, bought $2,000 in ads on Albuquerque’s KASA to oppose Udall. That group is running a series of virtually identical ads in Senate races around the country.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King added nearly $105,000 in ads for the homestretch, though GOP Gov. Susana Martinez’s nearly $3 million in advertising dwarfs King’s $583,000 in total spending.

Here’s a look at how much New Mexico advertisers are spending based on contracts filed through Oct. 25:

Martinez’s spending continues to give Republicans an edge in ad buys based on affiliation:

In other political ad developments last week:

  • The Committee for Justice & Fairness increased its buys by nearly $52,000. The group, operated by the Democratic Attorneys General Association, has bought more than $390,000 in ads to run through Election Day in support of Hector Balderas and opposition of his GOP opponent Susan Riedel. The Republican Attorneys General Association is airing $189,000 in ads attacking Balderas and supporting Riedel.
  • Rick Lopez, the Republican candidate for treasurer, contracted for $14,400 in ads. Tim Eichenberg, the Democrat in the race, aired ads before the June primary, but hasn’t been on traditional TV since.
  • Democratic 2nd Congressional District candidate Rocky Lara added nearly $99,000 worth of ad contracts last week. GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is still outspending her overall, $753,000 to $591,000.

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