Self-financing characterizes Las Cruces election thus far

Self-financing appears to be the theme of the Las Cruces municipal election, at least to date.

Las Cruces City Hall

Heath Haussamen /

Las Cruces City Hall

All three candidates for mayor and several candidates running for three city council seats have partially or wholly funded their own campaigns, according to finance reports filed Tuesday. The election is Nov. 3.

The heavy reliance on self-financing comes as the city council is considering implementing a public financing system for elections beginning in 2017. Proponents say public financing would increase participation by forcing candidates to collect lots of small donations from voters in order to qualify to receive public funds. That would lead to more engagement between candidates and voters, they argue.

Here’s a rundown of the finance reports candidates filed Tuesday:


Ken Miyagishima, who is seeking a third term as mayor, has personally loaned $11,300 to his campaign thus far, according to the finance report he filed Tuesday.

In all, Miyagishima has raised $15,483.88 in cash and in-kind donations as of the report’s filing date. His campaign had spent almost the same amount, $15,632.96.

One of Miyagishima’s challengers, outgoing city councilor Miguel Silva, has helped finance his own campaign with $5,300 in personal loans. His fundraising also included a $2,300 donation from Pic Quik Stores, according to his finance report.

In all, Silva raised $9,380.28 and spent $6,598.82.

The third mayoral candidate, business owner Gina Montoya-Ortega, had almost no financial activity on her report — $164.98 in expenses, which she paid for herself. She reported no other contributions.

District 1

In the District 1 race to replace Silva on the city council, Kasandra Gandara led the way in fundraising with $7,349.49 in cash and in-kind contributions, according to her report. Gandara’s largest donation of $1,000 came from her partner, N.M. Sen. Bill Soules. She reported spending $5,848.18.

Eli Guzman was second with $6,230 in cash and in-kind contributions, according to his report. His biggest contributor was his own business, Guzman Sport Karate Kickboxing, which gave $2,200. He reported spending $4,155.50.

The third candidate in that race, Steve Calderazzo, made a $200 donation to his own campaign. He reported no other contributions or expenses.

District 2

In the District 2 race, incumbent Gregory Z. Smith raised $2,325, according to his report. His largest donation of $1,000 came from Ted Ramirez. Smith’s only self-financing was a $100 loan. He reported spending $196.22.

Smith’s challenger, Philip VanVeen, outraised the incumbent. He reported $3,262.41 in cash and in-kind donations, including three $500 donations from Roger and Jacqueline Pountney, Green Lizard LLC, and B.L. and M.L. Lawrence. VanVeen reported spending $2,380.19 thus far.

District 4

Jack Eakman led the way in fundraising in the District 4 race to replace Nathan Small, who isn’t seeking re-election. Eakman raised $8,495, according to his report. He gave his own campaign its largest contribution thus far — a loan of $3,000. Eakman reported spending $6,723.06.

Eakman was followed in the fundraising race by Richard Hall, who reported raising $2,100 — all of it self-financing. Hall loaned his campaign $2,000 and made a $100 cash donation. He reported spending $433.82.

The third candidate in that race, Gilbert Vasquez, reported raising $1,230, which included a donation of $250 from Ernest and Nancy Apodaca. Vasquez didn’t give or loan his campaign any money. He reported spending $529.52.

Presiding municipal judge

The candidates in the race for the city’s presiding municipal judgeship, Kieran Ryan and William M. Kinsella, both reported raising and spending no money for their campaigns.

A prior version of this article incorrectly identified Soules as Gandara’s husband rather than partner.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from, and written by Heath Haussamen. Read the original article here.