LEWISTON — The numbers are on par with recent mayoral elections, but heading into the Nov. 2 vote, Carl Sheline has outspent Donna Gillespie 15-to-1.

According to campaign finance reports filed last week, Sheline has both out-raised and outspent Gillespie by a considerable margin, but overall spending is in line with the two most recent mayoral elections.

From July 1 to Oct. 19, Sheline raised $3,735 in donations, and reported a self-funded campaign loan of $13,300. For the same period, he reported $15,326 in expenditures with the majority going toward print and digital advertising, campaign signs and mailers.

In comparison, Gillespie reported cash contributions of $671, and expenditures of $566 for the same period.

However, the fundraising and spending levels reported by Sheline are not an outlier among recent Lewiston elections. In 2019, Mark Cayer, who would go on to win, reported $5,365 in contributions and $4,556 in spending during the same pre-election window. His opponent, Tim Lajoie, raised $3,586 and had spent $2,404.

Cayer is not running for reelection this year.


The 2019 race was tepid compared t0 2015, when Ben Chin raised a staggering $90,000 in donations, with just $10,000 coming from within Lewiston. In 2017, when he ran again, he rolled over more than $14,000 from the previous campaign, on top of raising an additional $4,770 and spending $10,384 leading up to the election.

During that same 2017 race, Cayer raised $9,642 and spent $4,283 in the final quarter of the campaign. Shane Bouchard, who ultimately won, self-funded his campaign and reported expenditures of $4,351.

The most recent finance reports were the 11-day preelection filing, which will be followed by a 42-day post-election filing due Dec. 14.

In the preelection filing, Sheline reported contributions from prominent Lewiston-Auburn developer Tom Platz, as well as Peter and Gene Geiger of promotional products company Geiger.

The majority of Gillespie’s contributions are from herself, except for three contributions of $50 or less from supporters. She lists campaign signs, mailers and a website among expenses. Of the 15 reported individual contributions to Sheline, two are listed in the $50 or less category.

In 2015, during what was a five-way mayoral race, Chin raised $63,329 in donations and spent $37,380 in the months leading up to the election, compared to $1,562 in contributions for incumbent Robert Macdonald.

While Chin earned the most votes on Nov. 3, 2015, it wasn’t enough to reach the required majority vote, and a runoff between Chin and Macdonald was held Dec. 8, 2015.

During the month between the general and special elections, Chin continued to raise money, eventually pulling in nearly $90,000 over the full period of his campaign — making it the most expensive in Lewiston history.

Macdonald won the 2015 runoff election by more than 500 votes, and was elected to his third term in office.

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