Fewer Maine candidates using Clean Election funds

Posted April 24, 2012, at 11:10 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — With a change in Maine’s Clean Election law, it appears that fewer legislative candidates are seeking public funding for their campaigns.

Maine Today Media said at least 38 percent of the 438 candidates for Maine House and Senate seats are using privately raised funds to finance their campaigns. That compares with 30 percent in past years.

Since the last election cycle, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the Clean Election Act: so-called matching funds that provide Clean Election candidates with extra cash when their privately funded opponents outspend them.

The Legislature took away the matching funds provision this year in response to that court decision.

The percentage of privately funded candidates could rise when the final numbers are known later this week.