Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King returned to the airwaves last week, while a political action committee made a documentary case against GOP Gov. Susana Martinez.
Political advertising in New Mexico topped $9 million in contracts through Oct. 10. Aired back-to-back, those ads would take up nearly 8.5 days of viewing, a New Mexico In Depth analysis shows. The analysis is based on contracts filed by TV stations with the Federal Elections Commission. It doesn’t include cable or satellite TV buys or radio advertising.
King returned to TV Friday for the first time since mid-August, scheduling 176 ads worth $120,765 through Oct. 23.
But Martinez continues to hold an overwhelming lead in ad spending at nearly $2.6 million worth.
And the Republican Governors Association last week added almost $137,000 and 148 spots to support Martinez.
Meanwhile, King got help from Chile PAC, a federally registered political action committee that aired a 30-minute documentary on KOAT on Sunday afternoon that criticizes the governor for outsourcing behavioral health treatment for the state’s Medicaid recipients. The group spent $7,650 to air the show, along with 15 15-second promotional spots.
Here’s a look at political ad buys by advertiser through Oct. 10:
More new ads
Other political ad developments last week:
• Tim Keller, Democratic candidate for state auditor, scheduled nearly $122,000 in ads. Republican Robert Aragon has yet to schedule ads for the open seat.
• GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran increased her ad buys to nearly $156,000, compared with $129,000 for her Democratic opponent, Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
• The New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission scheduled almost $63,000 in ads about judicial candidates.
Here’s a look at the partisan breakdown of ad spending:
The Colorado connection
This tally only includes ads aimed at New Mexico voters. But in recent days, some TV viewers are seeing ads aimed at Colorado voters – specifically those in southwestern Colorado.
Priorities for Colorado, a Democratic 527 and independent expenditure committee, is spending $152,600 on 304 TV ads on Albuquerque stations to influence the outcome of a competitive state House race in Durango. That’s more than several candidates for statewide races in New Mexico are spending on TV advertising.
Two other Colorado Democrats – U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper – have spent almost $114,000 on ads at Albuquerque-owned stations in Farmington and Durango, Colo. But they haven’t made statewide buys in New Mexico.
Fish, NMID’s data journalist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @fishnette.