Snowe’s war chest dwarfs challengers’

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AUGUSTA – U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe has raised more than 40 times as much money as both of her potential Democratic opponents combined.

In financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission for the quarter ending March 31, Snowe, a Republican, reported raising more than $2.1 million for the 2005-06 election cycle. Of that, she’s spent almost $575,000 and has $1.95 million in cash on hand.

Neither of the two Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge Snowe comes close to matching her war chest.

Jean Hay Bright, who lives in Dixmont, reported that she had raised $23,508 since last February and has spent $22,348, leaving her campaign with about $660 in cash and $8,220 in loans made by the candidate to her campaign to cover travel expenditures.

Bangor lawyer Eric Mehnert is also seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Snowe. For the period ending on March 31, Mehnert reported contributions of $27,808, disbursements of $16,052 and cash on hand of $11,805. He also reported a campaign debt of $19,125. A message left at his law office Wednesday was not returned.

Of Snowe’s contributions, $1.2 million came from individuals and another $752,000 came from political action committees.

According to Hay Bright’s campaign treasurer and husband, David Bright, the Democrat has received no PAC contributions so far and has received only one $1,000 contribution and one $500 contribution. The rest have been much smaller amounts, he said.

Mehnert reported no contributions from PACs, and all of the individual donors listed on the disclosure share his last name.

1st Congressional District

In Maine’s 1st Congressional District, Rep. Tom Allen, a Democrat, has a substantial fundraising lead over Republican state Rep. Darlene Curley of Scarborough.

Allen has raised more than $476,000 for the election, has spent about $279,000 and has almost $297,000 in cash.

Curley has raised more than $26,000, has spent $10,000 and has almost $16,000 in cash. Curley also reported campaign debt of $12,500.

Independent Dexter Kamilewicz, who submitted his qualifying signatures to the Secretary of State on Thursday to get on the ballot for the 1st District, also filed a report with the FEC. He has raised $10,813 so far, spent $6,275 and has $7,572 in cash. Kamilewicz said his campaign has no debt, but that both he and his wife had contributed $1,000 to fund his exploratory committee.

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2nd Congressional District

In the 2nd Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud has raised almost $409,000, has spent $171,000 and has about $273,000 in cash.

Republican Scott D’Amboise, a former Lisbon selectman, is challenging Michaud. D’Amboise did not file a disclosure for the first quarter because he raised less than $5,000. “I really haven’t concentrated on fundraising,” D’Amboise said Thursday. “I’ve been out meeting constituents. We’ll be going strong starting this week.”

Campaign disclosures were due to the FEC by April 15.

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