June 27, 2016
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Candidate TV commercials on the air

Softballs, hard sells and lots of smiles try to snag votes

May 13, 2014, 1:00 pm

They're coming at us from every channel. TV and radio ads for New Mexico politicians won’t likely ease up between now and the June 3 primary.  Want to compare the messages? Here’s a collection of recent spots. Make sure to give your own analysis in the comments section below.   

Gov. Susana Martinez doesn’t have a Republican opponent in the primary election, but she’s got money to burn and a general to win in November. Her third TV commercial aired this week, hitting heavy on her decision to sell a state airplane used by former Gov. Bill Richardson and leaning on her agenda for education:

The governor’s first TV spot, “helping people,” began airing around April 8, with emphasis on tax cuts and other policies, it also features a tender moment between Martinez and her sister.

Then, in late April, her campaign went with “Cares,” which features Democrat mayors of Taos and Las Vegas who support her and talks about  such as wildfire and snow storms.


In a field of five, Lawrence Rael was the first democrat for governor to put out a TV commercial. He followed up with a new ad on May 13:

The first, which appeared cable stations since May 1 and cycled off around May 11, is a softball with idyllic images of ranchers, teachers and even a cameo for the New Mexico Rail Runner Express trains, which Rael oversaw during one of his previous government jobs. His campaign called it “Lawrence’s positive vision for New Mexico’s future.”

Just this week, Alan Webber launched a television ad with an altogether different tone. His voice is the only one you hear as a helicopter lands and then he stands on the airfield, bringing up the Koch brothers and saying the governor “may take orders from them.”

Rael has also been aggressive in radio ads, which employ some of the inflammatory recordings of Martinez’ campaign meetings that made national news in Mother Jones magazine:

And the candidates themselves aren’t the ones putting cash into ads. Better New Mexico Political Action Committee, a group supported by ProgressNow NM, raised the governor’s hackles with a TV commercial.  Martinez campaign staff wrote a news station asking for the commercial to be prohibited before it ever aired once.  After a day of delay from the threats, the spot aired on three stations between April 30 and May 2, says Pat Davis Progress Now director. 

Sen. Howie Morales, who won the Democratic preprimary convention with the most delegate votes in a coup that surprised some pundits, tells SFR that he’s getting ready to do a TV commercial, too.  No word from Sen. Linda Lopez on whether she’ll buy air time.  This video on her website is labeled “Commercial”


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