New Mexico governor returns contribution, amends filing
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign for reelection on Wednesday amended its October campaign finance report and returned $4,200 to a corporate contributor after a donation exceeded limits set in state statute.
Opposition political committee Stop MLG highlighted the original $25,000 donation to the Lujan Grisham campaign from Denver-based Intrepid Potash. New Mexico caps campaign contributions to candidates at $20,800 in the course of a four-year election cycle. Excess contributions were returned, according to a spokeswoman for the campaign.
Intrepid Potash is a Denver-based mineral company that employs about 280 people in New Mexico, primarily at Carlsbad. It uses water rights to sell water to support oil and natural gas development in the Permian Basin and also provides a potassium-rich salt to oil producers and other industries, according to corporate filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Intrepid Potash is invested in state mining and grazing leases. It has a petition pending before the state Supreme Court to defend water rights on the Pecos River in southern New Mexico that are leased to other companies for use in the oil and gas industry, after a coalition of rural water users prevailed in state district court.
The Lujan Grisham campaign also amended its filing to identify previously undisclosed sources of four recent campaign contributions.
Those include two donations totaling $10,400 from Chevron Policy, Government & Public Affairs, a $4,000 contribution from a political committee led by Democratic state Senate President Mimi Stewart and $2,500 from the Health Care Service Corporation Employees political committee.
Health Care Service Corporation oversees BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico, a state-sanctioned provider of Medicaid health care coverage to poor and low-income residents. BlueCross also offers health insurance on the state exchange, bewellnm.com.
Lujan Grisham, a former congresswoman, is seeking a second term as governor in the 2022 election.
Her campaign received roughly $2.5 million in campaign contributions over the past six months from an array of individuals, labor unions, political committees and businesses.
A crowded field of at least seven contenders are pursuing the Republican nomination.
Contributors to Stop MLG include Republican state House minority leader James Townsend.
This story has been corrected to show the state limit on campaign contributions is $20,800, not $20,400.