ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Four City Council seats are up for grabs this November. The campaigns have months to go, but some candidates are already spending thousands to try to win.

Thirteen candidates are running for districts 2, 4, 6, and 8. This year, most of them are publicly financed.

“Publicly financed candidates, they gather a set number of qualified contributions pursuant to the rules in the [city] charter, and if they gather the required number, they then receive a distribution of public funds in order to run their campaign,” says Ethan Watson, the Albuquerque city clerk. Privately financed candidates, on the other hand, don’t get funds from the city.

A key difference between the two is how much they can spend. Publicly financed candidates can only spend what they get from the city. Privately financed candidates can spend as much money as their campaign raises.

So far, the privately financed candidates have averaged nearly double the spending of publicly financed candidates. But spending varies widely and is just getting started.

The race for District 6 is pulling ahead as the most expensive race, so far. With six candidates vying to replace Pat Davis in representing Albuquerque’s southeast, there’s been nearly $20,000 spent. And it’s likely that spending will only ramp up as November approaches.

District 4, on the other hand, hasn’t seen much spending. Incumbent Brook Bassan is competing against only one candidate to represent Albuquerque’s northeast district. Bassan has only spent a couple hundred dollars so far. Her privately financed competitor, Abby Foster, has spent about ten times as much.

By far, the biggest spender across all the races is currently Jeff Hoehn, who has recorded over $11,000 in expenditures. But not all of those are going to get Hoehn any closer to winning. For example, he paid back part of a campaign contribution that was over the contribution limit. Other expenses might help Hoehn’s campaign, though. For example, he spent a couple hundred dollars on an email list of active registered voters, $9,000 on a campaign manager, and a little over $50 on stickers.

Spending by candidates will only increase as November inches closer. Along the way, the city clerk will continue to monitor the finances to make sure candidates are following the rules.