LEWISTON — Fundraising in the Lewiston mayoral race continued to tilt lopsidedly in favor of challenger Ben Chin, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.

Mayor Robert Macdonald picked up another $4,245, adding to the $1,063 he had left from the Nov. 3 election, according to a mayoral runoff financial report filed with the city clerk Monday.

“Matter of fact, I’m not taking any more money,” Macdonald said. “I’ve got plenty to do everything I want to do.”

His Nov. 3 campaign contributions totaled $1,562, bringing his total to date to $5,807.

Macdonald’s post-election fundraising still leaves him far short of his opponent Ben Chin, who collected $24,449 since the November election.

According to Chin’s Oct. 23 campaign finance report, the candidate brought in $63,329 in donations and spent $37,380 leading up to the Nov. 3 ballot, leaving a $25,949 balance. Throughout the campaign, Chin has raised $87,778.


Voters go to the polls Dec. 8 to select one of the two as the next mayor.

Chin had the most votes of any mayoral candidate Nov. 3, with 3,673 out of 8,332 votes cast, or 44 percent of the total. Macdonald was a close second, losing by 566 votes. Macdonald had 3,107 votes and 37 percent of the vote.

The remaining three candidates accounted for 1,552 votes — about 19 percent of the total cast.

According to Lewiston’s charter, mayoral candidates need to win by a majority — at least 50 percent of the total, plus one vote. Chin was 494 votes short of that threshold. That triggered the special runoff election between the two.

Since the Dec. 8 vote is a new election, both candidates have to file financial reports 11 days before the vote.

Lewiston City Clerk Kathy Montejo said the deadline to file the reports was Friday, but it was extended to Monday because city offices were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday and Friday.


Chin raised more than $63,000 for the general municipal election, according to the Oct. 23 financial report, far outpacing all other candidates. Macdonald had collected $1,567 in donations before the Nov. 3 ballot.

“I kept it at a very minimum for the first vote,” Macdonald said. “People gave me money, but I didn’t go out looking for it. But for the second vote, it seems to be because a couple of the other candidates losing more people started giving me money.”

Donors for this vote include U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, who gave $500, former state Rep. Thomas Shields, who gave $200, and former Lewiston City Councilor Nelson Peters, who donated $100.

Macdonald’s biggest donations, two gifts of $750 each, came from local property holding companies: Casco Bay Management Inc. and Capital Servicing Inc., both based at 50 Portland Pier in Portland. They are corporations associated with Ted West, one of the landlords Chin has labeled as a slumlord.

Chin continued to receive broad financial support for his campaign from donors and groups around the state and around the country.

“There are some people who donated before who came back again,” Chin said Monday. “But it’s still a pretty solid number of donors.”


In all, Chin said he had more than 200 donors for the runoff election, with an average donation of $97 each.

Chin has received 15 donations of $775 each, the maximum according to state rules.

Those came from a variety of sources, including political action committees Iron Workers Local Union 7 of Clinton and Vermont-based Democracy for America; attorneys from Washington, D.C., California, and Yarmouth; two Syracuse University professors; two retirees from Tenants Harbor and a New York filmmaker.

Chin also took a $30 in-kind donation from his employer, the Maine People’s Alliance. Chin also reimbursed the alliance $12,000 for use of his office, equipment and consultant fees.

The Maine People’s Alliance is a registered 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization, meaning it can engage in political campaigns and lobbying to a limited degree. It incorporated as a nonpolitical 501(c)(3) in 1983, but spun off a separate political arm — the Alliance — in 1984.

The original 501(c)(3) became the Maine People’s Resource Center, which still operates as a nonpolitical operation.


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