Democrat has most cash in Maine governor's race

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Democrat Libby Mitchell has the most cash on hand as Maine's open race for governor, now down to five contestants, enters its final months, new campaign finance reports show.

Libby Mitchell
Pat Wellenbach/Associated Press

Libby Mitchell gestures during a debate of the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates at the University of Southern Maine in Portland on Wednesday evening.

Mitchell, who has the only campaign that's receiving public funding, had more than $506,000 in cash as of the close of the last reporting period July 13, according to her filing with the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

Republican Paul LePage reported more than $260,000 in cash, while independent Eliot Cutler reported $67,000 in cash. The other two independents, Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott, reported $353,000 and $3,170 in cash respectively.

The disparity in cash figures does not necessarily reflect the campaigns' potential to raise more funds as the Nov. 2 general election draws closer. Cutler has already spent more than $800,000 for the general election, figures show. The reports were due before midnight Tuesday.

"We have a very aggressive fundraising plan" that includes online as well as direct mail appeals, meet-and-greets and other public events, Cutler campaign spokesman Ted O'Meara said Wednesday. Campaign funding will be competitive with that of the two major-party candidates, O'Meara added.

LePage, the Waterville mayor, led the other privately funded candidates with $179,000 in donations during the most recent reporting period, which covered May 26 to July 13. He also has some high-profile fundraising events planned, including a coastal whistlestop run dubbed the "LePage Express" Saturday aboard the Maine Eastern Railroad. Donors riding in the coach will pay $100 per person, while those riding in the exclusive Parlor Car will pony up $750 for a seat.

Mitchell, the state Senate president whose campaign qualified for funding under the Maine Clean Election Act, will be limited to a maximum of $1.2 million for the general election no matter how much her rivals raise, according to the ethics commission. How much her campaign receives up to that amount depends on how much is the other candidates spend and how much independent advertising aimed at defeating her is spent.

Reports also give a complete picture of pre-primary spending. Republican Les Otten turned out to be the biggest spender in both gubernatorial primaries, putting $2.7 million — including a $2.2 million loan from himself — into the race. Otten finished second in GOP balloting even though he outspent LePage almost 20 to 1.

Among the other Republicans, Bruce Poliquin spent $1.4 million, including a large chunk of in-kind donations to his campaign. Peter Mills was the only Republican to qualify for public funding, $644,000. Steve Abbott spent about $460,000, Bill Beardsley spent $330,000 and Matt Jacobson $191,000, according to reports.

Among the Democrats, Steve Rowe spent about $530,000, Rosa Scarcelli spent $822,000 and Pat McGowan, who was publicly funded, spent $675,000.

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 's picture

public funds

I am upset that we have spent our money for primary runs. I do not believe that primary candidates should receive public funding. Considering that we spent almost $2M for Mitchell, Mills and McGowan to run against each other in the primary. Now, we are giving Mitchell another $600,000 for the general election. This is a lot of money for people to fulfill their egos -- not all of the candidates are doing it solely for their egos, but some are.

Steve Bannister's picture


the numbers listed by this "ultra conservative rag" are what those left in the race for the Blaine House have on hand as of 7/13. The numbers for monies spent in the "PRE"-primary candidates are those numbers you are having issue with.

math it's a "fuzzy" thing for ultra-libs.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Libby Mitchell should have

Libby Mitchell should have the most cash on hand. We the taxpayers gave her $660,000 to spend...and, there are various loopholes and such that will enable her to get some contributions and advertising on the side. Ain't life grand?

 's picture

What about 2.7 million and 20

What about 2.7 million and 20 to 1 do you not comprehend? DO THE MATH if you are able.

 's picture

The article merely reports on

The article merely reports on how much money Gubernatorial candidates have at this time in their coffers. Not how much money they spent on primary elections, dog food, in Libby's case (detailing make up from a local mortician), etc,etc.

 's picture

Mitchell feels that having

Mitchell feels that having kissed more butt that a toilet seat as a politician she should sock it to the electorate once again time by receiving public funding. Can you say LOSER.


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