Maine governor candidates file campaign reportsBy CLARKE CANFIELD , Associated Press
Jul. 15, 2013 1:54 PM ET
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The two likely leading challengers to Republican Gov. Paul LePage in next year's governor's race have raised more than $745,000 between them for their campaigns, they reported Monday.
In a semi-annual report filed with the Maine Ethics Commission, independent Eliot Cutler reported that he had raised more than $432,000 during the first six months of the year. Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who is a likely gubernatorial candidate, reported raising more than $313,000 in 17 days after he announced he had formed an exploratory committee and was raising money for a possible run.
LePage, who has been raising money for his re-election campaign since late 2011, had not filed his report by early Monday afternoon. The filing deadline was midnight.
The Cutler and Michaud campaigns issued statements saying they were pleased with their fundraising totals.
"Once again, people from all over Maine, and people from outside of Maine who care about our state and political reform, are enthusiastically responding to my candidacy," said Cutler, who has presented himself as an alternative to the two-party political system.
The Michaud campaign said he's been receiving statewide support from people of all political persuasions.
"As I travel around the state, I appreciate the encouragement that's coming from Democrats, Republicans and independents," he said.
In earlier campaign finance reports, LePage reported $215,000 in contributions from December 2011 through 2012.
Brent Littlefield, a political adviser to LePage, pointed out that LePage was far outspent by other candidates and special interest groups during the 2010 campaign. LePage narrowly defeated Cutler in the 2010 election, with Democrat Libby Mitchell finishing a distant third.
"We expect that by the time the election arrives next fall, we will have been more competitive (financially) this campaign cycle," Littlefield said.
The Cutler campaign reported contributions from 632 individuals, 68 percent of whom are from Maine. Campaign officials said the donors cross party lines, with contributors including former Maine Democratic Party chairman Harold Pachios and former Maine Republican Party Treasurer Jim Nicholson, who is also Cutler's campaign treasurer.
The Michaud campaign said it had received contributions from nearly 1,200 individuals, 10 businesses, eight political action committees and one candidate committee. More than 90 percent of individual contributions came from Maine residents.
Michaud contributors included Leon Gorman, L.L. Bean's grandson and former longtime president and CEO of the Freeport-based outdoors outfitters, and author Tabitha King, wife of horror and suspense author Stephen King.
Among lesser-known candidates, Democrat Steve Woods reported that he had no contributions to his campaign, but had contributed $50,000 of his own.
Green Independent Party candidate David Slaggers of Kenduskeag reported $400 in contributions. Independent Lee Schultheis of Freeport reported that he'd given his campaign $5,000 but had no other contributions.