ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A handful of candidates are in the final leg of the race to compete for just four Albuquerque City Council seats, and they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to run their campaigns.

Data from the City of Albuquerque shows that the 11 candidates have spent a total of nearly $330,000 so far. Most candidates have spent between $30,000 and $40,000.

Idalia Lechuga-Tena is currently the leading spender, the data shows. Running for District 8, near the foothills, Lechuga-Tena has spent over $42,000 so far, the data shows. Over $19,000 of that has been for a direct mail campaign, and over $3,000 has been for yard signs.

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Moises Gonzalez, on the other hand, has spent the least (of those still in the race). With under $16,000 spent running for District 2 in central Albuquerque, Moises put around $3,500 into yard signs, stickers, and cards.

Some candidates have already dropped out. Joseph Pitluck Aguirre, for example, withdrew from the race for District 6 at the end of August, deciding to move to Missouri to work as a dentist for underserved communities.

Candidates have the option to run as a publicly financed candidate or as a privately financed candidate. Public financing is intended to help diversify the candidate pool.

Publicly financed candidates:

  • JOAQUIN BACA (District 2)
  • BROOK BASSAN (District 4)
  • ABEL OTERO (District 6)
  • NICHOLE ROGERS (District 6)
  • DANIEL CHAMPINE (District 8)
  • IDALIA LECHUGA-TENA (District 8)

Privately financed candidates:

  • MOISES A GONZALEZ (District 2)
  • ABBY FOSTER (District 4)
  • JEFF HOEHN (District 6)

Publicly financed candidates receive funding from the city, but they are limited on how much they can spend while on the campaign trail. For example, most publicly financed candidates are limited to spending no more than around $40,000 (although there are slight differences depending on which district the candidate is running for).

Privately financed candidates, on the other hand, can spend as much money as they raise on the campaign trail. While this could give a candidate a big financial advantage, this year’s city council race hasn’t seen any major spenders in terms of private candidates.