December 09, 2018
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How Janet Mills pulled ahead in money race to succeed LePage

BDN Composite | BDN
BDN Composite | BDN
From left, Alan Caron, Terry Hayes, Janet Mills and Shawn Moody

AUGUSTA, Maine — Between mid-July and last week, Attorney General Janet Mills raised nearly $800,000 in the race to replace Gov. Paul LePage, with the Democrat more than doubling up Republican nominee Shawn Moody.

But the pair have roughly the same amounts left in their campaign coffers.

Mills and Moody are running what looks like a tight race for the Blaine House. An August poll from Suffolk University found a tied contest between the two and the Maine seat is one of a host nationally that Democrats are aiming to flip, though the state only nominally leans their way.

The Democrat has the momentum in the money race. Mills of Farmington raised $1.85 million to Moody’s $1.41 million as of Sept. 18 behind a red-hot summer during which she raised $798,000 to his $377,000 since July 18. Updated figures were due to the state on Tuesday.

Virtually all of Mills’ money has come from individual contributors, including $149,000 from donors giving $50 or less. Moody, a businessman from Gorham, has given his campaign $506,000 in personal money to date and has taken in $272,000 from businesses. He has $397,000 left to Mills’ $394,000.

Mills received maximum contributions of $1,600 from more than 130 people during the last period, including billionaire hedge fund manager and activist Tom Steyer of California, Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby and her son, conservationist and former congressional candidate Lucas St. Clair of Hampden.

Among Moody’s donors during the latest period were the sitting Republican governor and his wife, Ann LePage, who each gave $1,000. Moody got maximum contributions from the drug giant Pfizer and several Maine businesses, including Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham and the Gendron and Gendron, a Lewiston construction and real estate company.

[Behind the numbers in Maine’s latest campaign finance reports]

The two independents in the race — State Treasurer Terry Hayes of Buckfield and consultant Alan Caron of Freeport — only registered in the low single digits in the August poll, but they’re still well-funded foils for the party nominees at this point in the campaign.

Hayes raised $1.15 million through Maine’s public campaign financing system as of last week with $212,000 left. Caron and his wife, Kristina Egan, have given his campaign $725,000 of his total haul of $779,000. He had $201,000 left.

Browse all contributions to Maine’s candidates for governor below, through Sept. 18.

During the general election, outside groups have dumped about $2.6 million into the governor’s race. Most of that — $2.1 million — has gone to support Mills and oppose Moody.

[As governor’s race heats up, it still lags behind cash put into LePage’s first contest]

As of Wednesday, a Maine political action committee set up by the Democratic Governors Association, called A Better Maine, had pumped the most outside cash into the race, spending roughly $890,000 to oppose Moody and $360,000 to support Mills.

The only Republican spending in the governor’s race so far has come from the Maine Republican Party, which has spent $508,000. But more outside money could soon on that side, since the Republican Governors Association registered a political committee in Maine last week.

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