Judicial Race an Unusual Lift for New Mexico TV

An unexpected political spend has been a bit of a boon to stations in New Mexico, where a judge in a state Supreme Court race is the first candidate to put money into fall TV.

Democrat Michael Vigil, the chief judge of the New Mexico Court of Appeals, has shelled out $103,000 for ads on Albuquerque TV, according to the Santa FeNew Mexican. According to FCC contracts, he will run more than 400 ads on five stations (he is advertising on Spanish-language TV as well traditional affiliates) from Oct. 17 through election day.

Vigil is vying for the seat currently held by his opponent Judith Nakamura, a Republican appointed as a justice to the court in 2015.

The New Mexican writes that New Mexico judicial races rarely garner TV attention, as they are usually uncontested. When a judicial seat becomes open, candidates must run a contested race in the first general election, according to the publication. The winner then runs unopposed in an election asking voters to decide whether the judge should be retained.