New Mexico candidate’s disclosures satisfy regulator
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Republican New Mexico state lawmaker and congressional candidate has amended a financial disclosure filing to show that her company received money from contracts with state agencies, in a move ensuring compliance with state regulations.
State Rep. Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo previously disclosed that she is a partner in Herrell Properties. She submitted an amended filing this week to show the company earned more than $5,000 from goods or services provided to state agencies.
Other state records have indicated that Herrell Properties took in $440,000 since 2013 by renting property to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and New Mexico Environment Department.
New Mexico secretary of state’s office spokesman Joey Keefe said the amended filing brought Herrell into compliance with the requirement to “disclose the name of any state agency to which the legislator sold goods or services in excess of $5,000.”
Herrell is competing for an open Congressional seat in New Mexico’s southern district, as Republican Congressman Steve Pearce runs for governor.
She says the secretary of state’s office never brought up any irregularities about her financial disclosures since becoming a lawmaker in 2011, and that she has never received income linked to her minority share in Herrell Properties and its contracts with the state.
“Yvette Herrell has gone above and beyond to provide transparency to voters,” said Rob Burgess, an adviser to Herrell’s campaign, in a statement.
Herrell has said concerns about her financial disclosure forms were orchestrated by a political consultant of Hobbs businessman Monty Newman — a competitor for the Republican congressional nomination. Newman’s campaign manager, Joseph Cueto, has said serious concerns were warranted.
Kathleen Sabo, executive director of nonpartisan group New Mexico Ethics Watch, said the state’s disclosure requirements for elected and appointed officials are designed to “make sure that people know that our public officials and public servants are working for the public rather than to enrich themselves.”
She said New Mexico disclosure forms require rudimentary information about involvement in contracts of over $5,000 with an agency — but no further financial details.
“Disclosure, it brings up questions,” she said. “Then people can inquire.”