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Congressional candidates clash on financial disclosures

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican congressional candidate Mark Moores on Tuesday criticized Democratic rival Melanie Stansbury for voting in 2019 for a budget bill in the state Legislature that benefited a one-time client of her consulting practice, in a news release.

A spokeswoman for Stansbury called the criticism a baseless political attack and highlighted Moores’ refusal to file a disclosure about his personal finances as a U.S. House candidate. A spokesman for Moores said that this year’s delayed federal tax deadlines have stood in the way of the financial disclosure requirement.

Early in-person and absentee voting is well underway ahead the June 1 special election to fill the 1st Congressional District seat held by Deb Haaland before her confirmation as Secretary of the Interior under President Biden.

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Campaigning for the seat has cast scrutiny on past legislative votes and personal finances for Moores, a third-term state senator, and Stansbury, who unseated a Republican incumbent from the state House in 2018.

Moores through his campaign notes that Stansbury voted as a state representative for a spending bill that provided $50,000 to the the Utton Transboundary Resources Center that performs public research on water, natural resources and environmental issues, among hundreds of programs at state agencies and universities. A prior state financial disclosure statement from Stansbury lists the Utton Center at the University of New Mexico as a major area of specialization or source of income for her as a consultant.

“These are baseless political attacks. Mark Moores is trying to distract from his failure to comply with federal law — refusing to disclose his financials to New Mexico voters,” Stansbury campaign spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn said in an email.

She says Stansbury has championed reforms to modernize the nation’s only unsalaried legislature and provide greater transparency.

Stansbury filed a financial disclosure statement this year with the U.S. House of Representatives that lists consulting clients including the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The Albuquerque-based congressional seat also is being pursued by for state Land Commissioner independent candidate Aubrey Dunn Jr. and Libertarian nominee Chris Manning.

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