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Wednesday, Jul 26th

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Municipal candidates offer up campaign finance reports

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Second required report to be filed soon

Candidates seeking political offices in Gallup’s two city council district races had to do more than just qualify and get their names on the March 14 ballot.

They also had to report their fundraising efforts to the city. There are two times that candidates have to file information with the city clerk’s office. The first deadline is Feb. 28.

WHAT DID THEY SPEND IT ON?

Among the money spent this campaign season was $2,227.12 by Angela Chavez who ran against Yogash Kumar in the District 3 race. Listed on Chavez’s campaign expense report, filed with the city clerk’s office, is $1,098.56 at Amsterdam Printing, an online promotional products printing company, and $1,128.56 at Butler’s Office Equipment and Supply along East Historic Highway 66 in Gallup.

Fellow District 3 city council race challenger Esco Chavez did not file a campaign disclosure report. Chavez explained that by saying he’ll submit “something numerically to the city after the election.” He did not disclose the amount in a telephone conversation with the Sun. Chavez said he received two campaign contributions less than $100, which does not require reporting.

Incumbent Yogash Kumar spent $1,254.82 as of the Feb. 28 deadline. Kumar spent $758.19 with the Gallup Journey, $235.85 at Butler’s, $145.78 at Willy Walt Printing for online printing information and $155 with McKinley County Request.

Referencing city ordinance, City Clerk Al Abeita said candidates who either receive contributions or expend funds on their campaigns, in amounts that exceed $1,000, must file two statements.

“As of Feb. 28 (candidates) Linda Garcia and Esco Chavez advised that their contributions and spending did not exceed $1,000,” Abeita said.

Incumbent Garcia said she didn’t spend or receive funds on her campaign. She said she used campaign signs that were left over from four years ago.

Abeita reiterated that the first campaign finance statement is due two weeks preceding election. The second and final statement is due 7-30 days after the election, Abeita said.

“Candidates who spend $1,000 or less on their campaign must file an affidavit with the city clerk no later than seven days after the election,” Abeita said.

The penalty for not filing finance reports could result in a hearing, Abeita said. “If a determination is made that a violation occurred, then a public reprimand may be issued against the candidate,” Abeita explained. “If a violation was made by a candidate winning the election, the city council may suspend or remove the candidate from office,” he said.

By Bernie Dotson
Sun Correspondent