SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico’s top elections regulator is warning that scarce resources at her agency could discouraged some political candidates from choosing public campaign funding over other sources.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver told state lawmakers Thursday that her agency cannot cover an estimated $2.6 million tab to fully finance campaigns for seats on the state’s court of appeals and the Public Regulation Commission overseeing utilities.

Toulouse Oliver plans to pursue additional state or foundation funding but noted that it won’t be clear how many candidates are running when lawmakers convene for a 30-day session in January 2018. She fears candidates may opt out of public funding design to limit the influence of special interests on elections.

The current shortfall is estimated at $1.5 million.