July 24, 2011

Jonathan Riskind: Snowe, Pingree, Michaud don't feel 2012 re-election heat yet

(Continued from page 1)

Pingree has proven a prolific fundraiser, raising more than $1.2 million for her 2010 campaign, when she handily beat Republican challenger Dean Scontras with 57 percent of the vote.

When she first won her congressional seat in 2008, with 55 percent of the vote, Pingree raised more than $2.2 million in all, including during a multi-candidate primary.

It's not as if Sussman hasn't already had a big financial impact on Pingree's campaign bottom line.

Sussman and others at financial companies he owns, such as Paloma Partners, pumped nearly $180,000 into Pingree's coffers during the 2008 and 2010 elections, according to the non-partisan campaign finance research organization Center for Responsive Politics.

But Pingree acknowledged that now, as Sussman's wife, she would have access to much more cash in 2012. A candidate's personal funds aren't subject to federal campaign individual contribution limits.

"I am in a different position now that I am married to Donald, there's no question about it," Pingree said.

Pingree said in an interview outside the House chamber last week that she doesn't think her husband's money will be a factor in 2012.

"I have always been a pretty prolific fundraiser, so I am always prepared to raise as much money as I need to take on a challenger," Pingree said, adding that she has "really no idea" whether she will need to put personal money into the race.

That's something any potential Pingree opponent must be mulling over in deciding whether to get into the race.

MaineToday Media Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Riskind can be contacted at 791-6280 or at:



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