Friday, March 7, 2014
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rick Bennett has been quietly building a campaign fund and campaign team, and will unveil both in a news release today.
Bennett, a business executive and former Maine Senate president, said he raised just under $108,000 in less than one month, ending March with nearly $105,000 cash-on-hand.
(Update: Bennett's campaign said the total does not include any loans to the campaign from Bennett. The candidate and his wife did contribute $5,000, which is equivalent to the maximum individual donation of $2,500 each.)
He also has added some familiar names to his campaign team. Former Maine House Republican Leader Josh Tardy of Newport is treasurer. Former Maine State Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Chris Jackson is campaign manager. Brent Littlefield, best known as Gov. LePage’s political strategist, is general consultant to the campaign. And Ann Robinson, a Republican activist, lawyer and influential lobbyist, is serving as campaign counsel.
Each campaign’s financial statements for the quarter that ended March 31 are due by April 15. We asked all 10 certified candidates – six Republicans and four Democrats – to send us their numbers as soon as they are ready.
Bennett and Democrat Benjamin Pollard were the first.
Pollard, a Portland businessman, said he had loaned his campaign $7,800 as of March 31, and had $1,037 on hand.
Bennett’s campaign says it reached its goal for the month, and the early numbers do seem strong.
Former Gov. Angus King, who is running as an independent, is also raising money at a good pace. A campaign spokeswoman said the numbers are still getting crunched, but the campaign raised about $135,000 in March.
King has said he wants to ultimately raise as much as $3 million for his campaign.Tweet
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John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
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Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
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Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
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Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
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