June 01, 2020
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As governor’s race heats up, it still lags behind cash put into LePage’s first contest

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage acknowledges his supporters at his election night victory party in Waterville, Maine.

This year’s open race for the Blaine House has attracted less cash to campaigns and from outside spenders than the last time there was an open field — in 2010.

But public and private money given to campaigns of unenrolled candidates Alan Caron and Terry Hayes is on par with recent years, matching the 2014 election in which unenrolled candidate Eliot Cutler’s campaign put $3 million into a second unsuccessful run.

[How Janet Mills pulled ahead in money race to succeed LePage]

Campaign filings submitted by a midnight deadline Tuesday show both partisan campaigns have so far outraised the contest of four years ago, but still lag behind fundraising in the 2010 election that eventually delivered Republican Gov. Paul LePage a plurality of the vote.

Outside groups have also spent less than during LePage’s 2014 re-election bid, when groups supporting Democrat Mike Michaud spent about twice as much as groups pushing for a LePage victory. Complete data on outside spending in the 2010 contest are not available from the Maine Ethics Commission’s online database.

[Track all outside spending in Maine’s 2018 elections]

As of Wednesday, a local political action committee set up by the Democratic Governors Association, called A Better Maine, dominated those outside expenditures in the 2018 race, spending roughly $890,000 to oppose Moody and $360,000 to support Mills.

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