Gov. Susana Martinez is planning what an invitation calls an “exclusive weekend fundraiser retreat” at El Monte Sagrado next week that includes a $10,000 price to attend.
Jay McCleskey, a Martinez campaign strategist, said the two-day gathering was an “organizational event” for finance committee members to discuss strategy for the governor’s reelection.
Martinez, a Republican, was elected to her first term in 2010 and will be up for reelection in 2014.
McCleskey said between 10 and 20 people (mostly from inside the state) were expected to attend the weekend event Friday (April 26) and Saturday (April 27).
New Mexico campaign finance law limits individual contributions in the governor race to $10,000 each election cycle, and McCleskey said finance committee members typically donate the maximum amount, suggesting the event price tag was tied to that limit.
An invitation to the fundraiser lists a cocktail reception, dinner reception, breakfast and “briefing session.”
A manager at El Monte said he could not comment on events at the resort.
A recent campaign finance report shows that the governor has raised $372,000 since October, giving her campaign a cash balance of $1.5 million as of April 1.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, a Democrat, had just over $100,000 cash on hand for his campaign as of April 3.
State Sen. Linda López, an Albuquerque Democrat, said Monday (April 15) she plans to run for governor.
In 2010, Martinez won less than one-third of the vote in Taos County. Statewide, she beat Democratic challenger Diane Denish by carrying 53 percent of the vote.
Texas developer Bob Perry (who died this week), Wyoming businessman Foster Friess and California billionaire B. Wayne Hughes were among Martinez’ biggest individual supporters during the 2010 race.
Ken Scarborough, chairman of the Taos County Republican Party, said his organization found out about the fundraiser through a political blogger based in Albuquerque.
Scarborough said he hoped local Republicans would have the chance to get some face time with the governor while he was in town, but he said he didn’t know any Taos residents who would be attending the private, high-dollar function.
“Us local, poor Republicans can afford a couple of drinks at El Monte, but we can’t afford $10,000,” Scarborough said.