Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud leads his Republican 2nd Congressional District opponents in fundraising by a wide margin, according to the latest campaign finance data.
Through May 23, Michaud had raised a total of $813,686 — including $95,023 from April 1 to May 23 — to Republican Kevin Raye’s $188,453 and GOP candidate Blaine Richardson’s $7,535, the candidates’ pre-primary Federal Election Commission filings state. Michaud’s numbers include a refund of about $3,500.
Michaud reported $45,273 in contributions from individuals from the period of time known as the preprimary ― April 1 to May 23 ― and $288,912 from January 2011 to May 23, his filing states.
Most of the rest of Michaud’s contributions came from a host of nonparty or political action committees, unions, associations, and corporations. Michaud garnered $49,750 in contributions from PACs from April 1 to May 23 and listed $528,250 as his total in PAC contributions since Jan. 1, 2011.
Those numbers, Raye campaign consultant Kathie Summers-Grice said, shows who Michaud really represents.
“He is real top-heavy with PAC contributions and other inside-the-beltway stuff. I think the national average is 41 percent and Mike is at something like 65 percent,” Summers-Grice said. “That shows a politician who is more in touch with inside-the-beltway politics than what’s happening in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.”
Michaud is very much in touch with his district, said his campaign manager, Greg Olson.
“At the end of the day, this race isn’t about money. It’s about the people of the 2nd Congressional District,” Olson said. Kevin Raye’s campaign is “doing a lot of dissecting of our finances because they are not pleased with their own. He [Raye] is not keeping pace with his own fundraising from 10 years ago.”
Unions representing steelworkers, firefighters, carpenters, electricians, creditors, utility workers, painters, and municipal employees have each contributed between $4,000 and $5,000 to Michaud’s campaign, the filings state.
Unions or PACs representing teachers, beer distributors, Home Depot, emergency medical workers, and insurance agents contributed $2,500 each.
“There are a broad spectrum of people that support Mike, from working people to people who create jobs here in Maine,” Olson said.
Michaud’s largest individual contributors include Leon Gorman, the former CEO and current chairman of the board of L.L. Bean, and his wife, Lisa, who each gave a total of $5,000, and Imad Khalidi, who also contributed $5,000. Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli contributed $3,000. Stephen King, Gary Lauder, Nancy Anderson, New Balance Athletic Shoe Chairman James S. Davis are among those who gave $2,500 each, his filing indicates.
Raye’s numbers show that the state Senate president is less successful now than when he first ran against Michaud 10 years ago, Olson said. Raye’s campaign had raised about $50,000 more at this point in 2002 than his campaign has now, Olson said.
Summers-Grice didn’t dispute that assertion. The difference between now and then, she said, is that Raye is a state senate president and not a fulltime candidate, as he was in 2002.
“Obviously Kevin has been very much a part-time candidate now,” she said. “There was a lot more focus on raising the money and campaigning full-time then.”
Raye’s listed contributions from individuals total $183,703 for the entire campaign, with $31,797 coming from April 1 to May 23. He received $4,180 from outside political committees, which can include PACs, from April 1 to May 23 and $4,750 from those sources overall.
Raye contributed $2,967 to his own campaign. Snowe For Senate contributed $2,000 and Republican Majority for Choice contributed $2,500, his filings indicate.
Raye’s campaigners are pleased with his fundraising strength so far, Summers-Grice said, adding that a disparity between challengers and incumbents is expected, with incumbents usually having a significant advantage. Michaud has raised four times as much as Raye in 18 months, while Raye has had only five months to raise funds for his run, Summers-Grice said.
Raye “is most proud of the fact that the very [highest] percentage of his donors are from Maine,” she said. “When you look at it in the context of other [2nd district] races, we are much further ahead that Jason Levesque was at this point in 2010, and Jason gave Mike a very strong run.”
Richardson’s campaign organization, Richardson for Congress 2012, and Richardson himself are his listed contributors. Of his $7,535 in contributions, $6,971 came from April 1 to May 23, according to his filing.
Raye and Richardson discussed some of their campaign goals with WLBZ-Channel 2 News Center’s Pat Callaghan during a segment taped last Wednesday.
Follow BDN writer Nick Sambides Jr. on Twitter at @NickSam2BDN.