Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, Friday, March 11, 2022, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

AUGUSTA, Maine –  Gov. Janet Mills extended her campaign cash advantage over former Gov. Paul LePage in the first four months of 2022, with both candidates’ numbers signaling what could be the most expensive gubernatorial race in Maine history.

The incumbent Democratic governor’s campaign said in a release that she had taken in nearly $1.1 million between January and April, bringing her total campaign fundraising this election cycle to more than $2.7 million — nearly totaling the just over $3 million she received during the entire 2018 cycle.

Mills also reported having more than $2 million cash on hand as of April 26, the end date for this campaign finance reporting period. LePage’s campaign reported having raised $1.3 million total this cycle and having $855,000 cash on hand as of April 26. Both campaigns released numbers ahead of Tuesday’s midnight campaign finance deadline.

The former Republican governor’s campaign noted that the cash on hand numbers were higher than at this time during his 2014 campaign and that he had previously won elections despite being outspent. He won reelection in 2014 despite being outraised by Democratic challenger Mike Michaud by more than $1 million in a three-way race that also included independent Eliot Cutler.

Mills outpaced LePage in fundraising during the 2021 calendar year and had $1.3 million cash left at the end of December compared with roughly $600,000 for his campaign.

Gubernatorial candidates are required to file campaign finance reports with Maine’s ethics regulator on Tuesday covering the period up to 42 days ahead of the primary, although both Mills and LePage are running unopposed in their parties’ respective primary elections.

Several long-shot unenrolled candidates are trying to make the ballot as well.