represents the total funds Santa Fe county commissioner candidate Jon Paul Romero has spent out of state.


is the amount lt. gov. candidate Brian Colón has spent out of state.

"Money is the mother’s milk of politics." —Jesse Unruh

Journalists have been known to groan at the onset of an election year, but Mike Mares is no journalist. Owner of the Copy Shack on Sandoval Street, Mares is reaping the benefits of the 2010 campaign season already, printing "banners and fliers and signs and posters" to his heart's content. Globalization and recessions be damned: Mares is having his biggest campaign-related business year yet.

"This has been more [lucrative] than any other," Mares tells SFR. "We've done [elections] in the past, but more people are using us or—I don't know what the deal is!"

Most of Mares' business is for very local races—Santa Fe county sheriff and commissioner candidates, for example. The first campaign finance reports from Santa Fe county commissioner candidate Jon Paul Romero and lieutenant governor candidate Brian Colón (both Democrats and the biggest fundraisers in their respective races) bear that out: While almost all of Romero's contributions and 100 percent of his expenditures stayed in New Mexico, Colón has pulled in donations from LA to DC (not to mention a $10,000 bump from a Texas beer distributor) and spent them as far away as British Columbia ($74.17 for flowers).

"A statewide race will outsource a higher proportion of their money than a local race," Brian Sanderoff, president of Albuquerque-based Research and Polling, Inc., says. "It's a higher percentage, but it's more money spent in total."

Indeed: Colón's campaign spending ($201,651.91) dwarfs Romero's ($20,989.20), so even if New Mexico gets only a fraction of Colón's money, the state stands to benefit.

This year's campaign spending probably won't rival 2008—during presidential elections, Sanderoff says, national groups spend "millions" on swing states—but any election season is good for a little economic boost.

"It's great, particularly for the media-related companies: print shops, ad agencies, consultants, polling companies," Sanderoff says. "The advertising industry has been hurt as much as any other business. [Campaigns are] something they really rely on in a down economy."