AUGUSTA, Maine — Three Republican candidates competing in a July primary to face 2nd District Rep. Jared Golden later this year saw their fundraising slow during the first three months of 2020, while the incumbent increased his fundraising advantage.
Golden, a Democrat, raised $586,942 during the three-month period, slightly less than he took in the previous quarter, bringing his total fundraising this cycle to more than $2.3 million. His campaign had $1.7 million cash on hand as of March 31.
[iframe url=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vSA9L64reDTi1ZNCPiokSh4EYvXbaE6ZvZ-RCqadw1j-PfXK84KTEQC1xb3SQ961RB6l0tXJ01Fz74_/pubchart?oid=2000560582&format=interactive” width=”600″ height=”371″]
Former state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn raised $139,923 during the first three months of the year, bringing his total fundraising to just shy of $650,000. Brakey, who jumped into the race at the end of July, raised more than half of that total during the first two months of his campaign.
Former state Rep. Dale Crafts of Lewiston, who has the endorsement of former Gov. Paul LePage, raised $50,234, bringing his total fundraising to $178,00 this cycle. Both Crafts and Brakey spent more than they raised during the first quarter.
Adrienne Bennett, who served as LePage’s press secretary, raised $36,106 during the three-month period, bringing her total fundraising to just over $84,000 since she jumped into the race in October. She also spent $34,385.
[iframe url=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vSA9L64reDTi1ZNCPiokSh4EYvXbaE6ZvZ-RCqadw1j-PfXK84KTEQC1xb3SQ961RB6l0tXJ01Fz74_/pubchart?oid=1347521306&format=interactive” height=”371″ width=”600″]
The three Republican candidates have longer to campaign than initially planned, as the primary election, originally scheduled for June, was pushed to July 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak. But the pandemic has also interfered with many traditional campaign activities, including high-dollar fundraisers and door-to-door canvassing.
Golden, a freshman, is a target for national Republicans aiming to take back a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Lewiston Democrat eked out a narrow victory over incumbent Bruce Poliquin in 2018 after President Donald Trump won the 2nd District by 10 points two years previously.
Earlier this week, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC that was a top spender nationally during the 2018 cycle, pre-booked nearly $1 million in TV advertising in Maine for the final three weeks before the November election, according to federal filings.
The group ran ads opposing Golden and supporting Poliquin in 2018. The 2nd District race was the most expensive House race in Maine’s history that year, with the two major party candidates and their allies spending more than $20 million combined.