TV ads and YouTube videos for candidates in New Mexico's June 5 primary election make for a quick way for voters to size up the races. While so far we're seeing a mostly sedate campaign with classic family photos, emotional music and lovely landscapes, a new piece from congressional candidate Damon Martinez is a more creative take on the candidate commercial.
Martinez, a US attorney hired during the Obama administration and fired after after Donald Trump's election, is airing a video in which his image is edited to show him sitting across the table from the Reality Star in Chief as though the two are appearing on an episode of The Apprentice.
As one of six Democrats on the ballot for the seat Michelle Lujan Grisham is vacating to run for governor, it's a clear effort to stand out.
In the same race, former state Democratic Party Chair Deb Haaland takes a hike up a rock outcropping while her voiceover emphasizes, "I don't look like most people in Congress;" a nod to her Laguna Pueblo heritage. If elected, she would be the first Native American congresswoman.
In the contest for governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her first television ad this week with a 30-second spot titled "Never Give Up," wherein a decidedly calm version of the Democratic candidate speaks slowly and clearly into the camera, naming three simple points that cover her tenure as secretary of two state-level cabinet offices and in Congress. Her campaign spokesman says it's the first of a six-figure media buy for a number of ads to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
It's a different tone from the one she struck in a video during her 2016 re-election campaign, where she scooted around Albuquerque on rollerblades wearing a neon T-shirt:
And from this example of what even she calls a "rant" up on Capitol Hill about Big Pharma:
Fellow gubernatorial Democratic contender Jeff Apodoca got on television and cable much earlier in the race, telling SFR that his 60-second "Dream" spot played during the Christmas season when advertising was affordable. Lujan Grisham shows more than $3 million in contributions so far; Apodaca has raised about about $1.1 million.
The former media executive has also aired 15-second spots he says are aimed at showcasing his solutions to the state's problems:
Apodaca's most recent finance report shows about $215,000 in spending between October and March on television and digital media buys. He says the money going toward social media is an important part of reaching voters and noted it's not just highly produced commercials that people want.
Every Tuesday, Apodaca's team conducts a Facebook live session to take on a different issue. Originally planned as a short run, the candidate says he's kept at it due to participation. The April 17 edition was about cannabis and logged more than 4,000 views on Facebook.
Sen. Joseph Cervantes managed to stay on the Democratic primary ballot for the governor's race with petition signatures after Apodaca and Lujan Grisham nailed ballot spots at the state Democratic Party's pre-primary nominating convention. His campaign is largely self-funded and his "Time to Get to Work" spot features him doing family farm stuff like climbing a tractor and carrying a sack of something.
"Nothing good happens from just standing around," he says.
And even though Steve Pearce is not facing a primary opponent, the Republican candidate for governor isn't missing the video parade. His promises, among other things, are that he will work hard at "relieving the poverty that we know is possible to relieve." But don't assume that means he's into social programs—quite the opposite, Pearce is on the conservative side of the GOP and has a pro-extraction agenda.
During a recent visit to Santa Fe, he talked about putting an oil refinery in one of New Mexico's poorest counties as one those relief measures.
Pearce, who imparts a history about living in a shed with his family as a child, is among the wealthier members of Congress and won a court case to bring a Congressional war chest of $780,00 to his statewide campaign fund that now totals more than $2 million.