Court Showdown On Public Campaign Financing

New Mexico – The state Supreme Court will consider a dispute over public financing of statewide judicial races.

The court has scheduled a hearing next Monday on whether Democratic Court of Appeals candidate Dennis Montoya should qualify for public financing of his campaign.

Secretary of State Mary Herrera determined that Montoya didn't qualify because he exceeded a cap on how much "seed money" candidates can contribute to their campaigns. Montoya, a Rio Rancho lawyer, appealed the decision.

Montoya is challenging Court of Appeals Judge Linda Vanzi in the June 1 Democratic primary.

Vanzi is not using public financing for her campaign.

The Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing June 2 on whether Montoya should be suspended from practicing law because of alleged misconduct in handling legal cases.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.