PORTLAND, Maine — Ethan Strimling has raised the most campaign funds of the 15 candidates running to become the first popularly elected mayor of Portland in 88 years, according to finance reports filed Friday with the city clerk’s office.
Strimling, executive director of LearningWorks and a former state lawmaker, has raised $83,332.99 for his mayoral campaign. That total easily bests the $45,749 filed by current Mayor Nicholas Mavodones, $41,075 reported by Michael Brennan and $27,554 officially collected by Jed Rathband.
In a statement Friday, Strimling said his total is a sign that his campaign is resonating with Portland residents.
“We far exceeded our fundraising goals,” Strimling said, “and I believe it shows that our message of new leadership, job creation and lower property taxes is what is most important to the people of Portland.”
Mavodones also issued a statement Friday saying his campaign has contacted 20,000 voters since Sept. 6 and the “grass-roots” campaigning gives him a strong base of support heading into Election Day.
“Three weeks ago, I challenged my supporters to contact 10,260 voters by the end of October,” Mavodones said. “Because of their generous support of time and money, we have surpassed that goal, reaching out to more than 12,000 people in 20 days. It’s these one-on-one conversations about Portland’s future that will put us over the top on Election Day.”
Rathband is the only candidate with the financial backing of a local political action committee, the Portland Committee for Economic Development, which reported to the city clerk’s office it raised $11,210 in support of the consultant on top of the funds raised by the candidate himself. The committee has spent almost all of its money on radio advertisements, with $7,560 spent with Portland Radio Group and another $2,400 with Atlantic Coast Radio.
The city filings do not include whatever campaign contributions may have come from the Portland Community Chamber political action committee, which endorsed Rathband this week and whose representatives said they likely would recommend donating to his cause. The Chamber’s PAC files its campaign finance reports with the state, said Bud Philbrick, the city’s elections administrator, on Friday.
According to Strimling’s filing, he has spent $56,534.28 of the more than $83,000 he has raised.
While those numbers were due to be submitted to the city Friday, they represent figures as of two days earlier. During the days in between when numbers were figured and when they were due to be filed, if candidates expended more than $1,000 at a time they were required to file a 24-hour report to update their records. Strimling filed two 24-hour reports, one noting a $10,541.71 expenditure and another reporting $5,420 of spending.
Philbrick said the candidates do not have to file corresponding fundraising updates, however, so it’s impossible to say whether the 24-hour reports are offset by donations received over that same time period.
If Strimling did not raise any more money, he still has $10,837 to spend on his campaign in just more than a week before the Nov. 8 election. Included in the money he reported having expended — or is due to expend — thus far is a total of $17,920 to consulting firm Baldacci Communications for fundraising help.
Among those to give Strimling maximum donations of $350 each were Portland Yacht Services owner Phineas Sprague, L.L. Bean board chairman Leon Gorman, lawyer Joe Bornstein and MaineHousing Director Dale McCormick. Cianbro Construction and Cianbro CEO Peter Vigue each donated $350 to Strimling’s campaign.
Mavodones reported having $13,418.10 left to spend at the end of the reporting period but also filed a 24-hour report indicating he had spent $7,861.54 since the period’s end.
DeMillo’s Floating Restaurant & Marina and venue owner Stephen DeMillo each were among those contributing $350 to Mavodones’ campaign, as were Quirk Chevrolet and owner John Quirk, former Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe and Rosa Scarcelli, a businesswoman who like Rowe ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2010.
Mavodones reported spending a total of $17,000 on Mach3Media to manage his campaign.
Not counting whatever contributions he may receive from the Portland Chamber PAC, Rathband reported having $8,593.72 left to spend in the final days before the election.
The following is a list of all the candidates who appear on the Nov. 8 mayoral ballot, how much each reported having raised in the reporting period and how much each has spent on the campaign, not including 24-hour filings: