Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Democratic groups, meanwhile, have exploited Summers' involvement with virtual schools, which critics say emphasize profits over education.
Citizens Who Support Public Schools began circulating mailers this week that claim Summers "is out for herself, not for our kids" and feature children with price tags.
• Similar messaging has been used in District 17, where Republican Sen. Garrett Mason of Lisbon and Democratic challenger Colleen Quint of Minot are vying to represent 10 towns in Androscoggin County.
Groups have spent more than $83,000 on the race. Mason, the Senate co-chair of the Legislature's Education Committee, is under fire for supporting charter- and virtual-school legislation, and for his alliance with LePage. Democratic groups have spent more than $54,000 trying to defeat him.
• Fourth on the list is Senate District 25 in Kennebec County, where groups have spent $57,379.
The Democratic Party has spent $26,199 against Republican Sen. Thomas Martin of Benton, while the Maine Republican Party has spent close to $25,000 in an effort to help Martin defeat Democrat Colleen Lachowicz of Waterville.
• Senate District 22 in Knox County is fifth with $49,025 spent so far. Most of the spending has been directed by Democratic groups that hope Democratic challenger Ed Mazurek of Rockland can topple Republican Sen. Chris Rector of Thomaston.
Republicans have used limited resources to help Rector. The Maine Republican Party has spent just over $4,000.
Spending has hit five figures in 14 races for Maine House seats. The PACs that have spent heavily on Senate races also are the biggest spenders in the top five House races, in:
• District 80, between Republican Rep. Melvin Newendyke of Litchfield and Democrat Rachel Lynne Sukeforth of Litchfield ($13,417).
• District 16, between Republican Rep. Doug Damon of Bangor and Democrat John Schneck of Bangor ($13,006).
• District 128, between Republican Rep. Heather Sirocki of Scarborough and Democrat Jean Marie-Caterina of Scarborough ($12,701).
• District 54, between Republican Rep. Susan Morissette of Winslow and Democrat Catherine Nadeau of Winslow ($12,633).
• District 127, between Republican Rep. Amy Volk of Scarborough and Democrat Paul Aranson of Scarborough ($12,494).
Staff Writer Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at: