UPDATE: 21 Legislative Candidates Accept Big Tobacco’s Contributions, 24 Join Challenge to Reject Money

October 3, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — According to the latest report, candidates for office in New Mexico have taken $8,750 in contributions from Big Tobacco between Aug. 1, 2018, and Sept. 3, 2018. Twenty-four candidates have taken the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) up on its challenge to “just say no” to Big Tobacco campaign money.

"We’re disappointed that some candidates have aligned themselves with an industry bringing addiction and disease to New Mexico,” said ACS CAN New Mexico Government Relations Director Sandra Adondakis. “Our volunteers will continue calling for all candidates to reject and return Big Tobacco’s dirty money and instead ensure that if elected, they will support legislative efforts to help people quit smoking, prevent youth from starting and protect people from secondhand smoke.”

The following candidates for the state House of Representatives accepted tobacco money in August and early September, according to campaign finance reports available at


  • Rep. David E. Adkins
  • Phelps Anderson
  • Rep. Alonzo Baldonado
  • Rachel A. Black
  • Brenda Diane Boatman
  • Rep. Sharon E. Clahchischilliage
  • Rep. Zach J. Cook
  • Lee S. Cotter
  • Rep. Rebecca L. Dow
  • Rep. Kelly K. Fajardo
  • Rep. Jimmie C. Hall
  • Rep. Jason Carl Harper
  • Rep. Tim D. Lewis
  • Rep. Ricky L. Little
  • Rep. Rodney D. Montoya
  • Trey Stephen Morris
  • Rep. Greg Nibert
  • Rep. Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert
  • Rep. William R. Rehm
  • Rep. James G. Townsend
  • Rep. Monica C. Youngblood


As part of its national Cancer Votes campaign — the nation’s leading voter education program informing the public and candidates about the actions lawmakers should take to make fighting cancer a national priority — ACS CAN New Mexico sent letters in July to every gubernatorial and state house candidate urging them to reject contributions from tobacco companies and their subsidiaries, and asking a simple question: "Will you reject the deception, pain and suffering that fund campaign contributions from tobacco companies and will you stand with ACS CAN and help us snuff tobacco money out of New Mexico politics?"

Candidates who have accepted ACS CAN’s challenge may be found here.

ACS CAN has tracked contributions since Aug. 1, 2018. Additional updates will be issued detailing Big Tobacco’s campaign contributions. If candidates have taken tobacco money, ACS CAN will ask them to return the contribution. Should a candidate fail to return the funds, ACS CAN will list them as rejecting the challenge.

For more information and to view which candidates have accepted the challenge to snuff Big Tobacco out of New Mexico’s politics, visit

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit 8500 Menaul Blvd NE Ste. A500, Albuquerque, NM 87112



More Press Releases AboutTobacco Control, New Mexico

Media Contacts

Adrienne M. Lynch
Senior Specialist, Division Media Advocacy