Kevin Raye raises more money than Mike Michaud over five-week period

Posted July 16, 2012, at 6:40 p.m.

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Kevin Raye
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Rep. Mike Michaud
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Kevin Raye outraised incumbent Rep. Mike Michaud during the latest five-week fundraising period, a milestone the Republican’s campaign is pointing to as a sign that it’s gaining momentum in the race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Raye, the Maine Senate president, collected $165,000 in campaign contributions between May 24 and June 30, while Michaud, a Democrat, took in $109,000. The numbers are included in campaign finance reports that were due to the Federal Election Commission on July 15.

While Michaud has raised more throughout the 2012 election cycle and had more cash on hand at the end of June, Raye’s campaign says the fundraising figures are the latest sign that Raye is posing a major threat to Michaud in the congressman’s effort to win a sixth term in the U.S. House.

So far this cycle, Michaud has raised $926,000 to Raye’s $353,000. At the end of June, Michaud had $635,000 on hand to Raye’s $242,000. As an incumbent, Michaud has been raising money for the 2012 race since the start of 2011, while Raye joined the race at the beginning of this year.

“Kevin’s strong fundraising performance is in keeping with what we’re seeing on the campaign trail,” Raye campaign manager Rob Caverly said in a written statement. “People are responding well to his positive message.”

Greg Olson, Michaud’s campaign manager, said the Democrat’s campaign has been pleased with the pace of fundraising during the 2012 election cycle and that it’s prepared for a competitive race against Raye.

“We’ve had a pretty aggressive fundraising clip, and we’re going to have the resources necessary for a full-scale communications effort this fall,” he said.

Raye’s contributor list includes a handful of Republican state legislators, former Gov. John McKernan, L.L. Bean heiress and restaurateur Linda Bean, and Shawn Moody, owner of Moody’s Collision Centers who ran for governor as an independent in 2010.

Of Raye’s $165,000 in fundraising, $20,500 came from political action committees, including $5,000 from the committee controlled by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and $5,000 from the committee controlled by Maine Sen. Susan Collins. Snowe for Senate, the campaign committee of retiring Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, contributed $2,000.

Other political action committees on the list include Republican Majority for Choice, an organization of Republicans who favor abortion rights, and a committee representing Wyman’s of Maine, a Washington County blueberry grower.

The fundraising period covered by the latest finance reports include the final weeks before the June 12 primary — in which Raye defeated Blaine Richardson and Michaud faced no challenger — and the first few weeks of the general election campaign.

Raye’s $45,000 in expenses included $7,000 in advertising from before the primary and about $5,000 in production costs afterward. The expense lists also includes nearly $7,000 in expenses for campaign mailings.

Michaud raised $68,000 — a majority of his $109,000 during the latest period — from political action committees. He spent $18,000 during the reporting period.

Michaud’s donor list includes author and Bangor resident Tabitha King, wife of author Stephen King; Tom’s of Maine co-founder Tom Chappell, who operates Rambler’s Way Farm in Kennebunk; and Michaud’s 1st District colleague, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree.

The political action committees supporting the 2nd District congressman include committees representing Altria Group, parent company of cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris; American Federation of Teachers; American Forest and Paper Association; Boeing; National Automotive Dealers Association; defense contractor General Dynamics, which has operations in Saco; defense contractor Raytheon; and unions representing letter carriers and U.S. Treasury employees.

Michaud’s campaign also received contributions from the campaign funds of a number of his Democratic House colleagues.

For Raye’s campaign, the strong fundraising numbers follow a week of promising polling and accolades from national Republicans.

The National Republican Congressional Committee last week named Raye a “Young Gun” — the top designation in the committee’s program that identifies candidates it considers promising. That designation followed the release of a new poll that showed Raye within reach of Michaud, trailing the incumbent 47 percent to 35 percent. The poll was conducted between June 20 and 25 by the Portland firm Critical Insights and had a 4 percent margin of error.

Michaud’s campaign on Monday tried to stem the tide of positive publicity for Raye by releasing an internal poll that shows Michaud leading the contest with 62 percent support to 30 percent support for Raye.

That poll was conducted between June 25 and June 27 by the Washington, D.C., Democratic pollster Normington Petts. The survey of 400 likely voters had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

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