Politics

January 16

Eliot Cutler raises $243K in second half of 2013

The independent candidate for governor lags Democrat Mike Michaud, who raised $700,000 over the same period. Republican Gov. LePage hasn’t released his numbers yet.

By John Richardson jrichardson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler announced Wednesday that his campaign committee collected $675,459 in donations by the end of 2013.

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Gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler meets with the Portland Press Herald Editorial Board in this Monday, October 7, 2013 photo.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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Including money he has spent and loaned to his campaign, Cutler raised $945,386 to finance his second attempt to become Maine’s governor, the announcement said.

Cutler is in a three-way race with Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud.

Cutler’s campaign released a summary of his latest campaign finance report late Wednesday, saying it raised a total of $243,368 in the last six months of 2013. Cutler had reported $430,000 in contributions through June 2013.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud announced earlier this month that his campaign committee has collected $1 million in donations, including $700,000 in the last six months of 2013.

LePage’s campaign had not yet released any new fundraising numbers as of Wednesday evening. LePage reported having raised nearly $340,000 as of last June.

The candidates were required to formally report year-end fundraising activity by midnight Wednesday.

“I am thankful that people are coming forward every day and from all over Maine and beyond to support this campaign, both financially and as volunteers,” Cutler said in a written statement.

Michaud’s stronger fundraising performance in the last six months is sure to encourage his supporters, as Cutler and Michaud are competing for many of the same donors and voters.

However, Cutler’s campaign emphasized in its announcement that Michaud has a built-in fundraising advantage.

As a Democrat who will run in a partisan primary in June and the general election in November, Michaud can accept a maximum $3,000 donation from individual supporters. As an independent candidate who will not run in a primary, Cutler can accept a maximum $1,500 donation from his individual supporters.

“We are pleased with the support so far. We are not surprised at the money raised by the Democratic candidate,” Cutler’s spokeswoman, Crystal Canney, said in a written statement, citing the limits on non-party candidates.

Canney pointed out that Michaud and LePage can accept additional donations for a primary election even though it appears neither will have a primary opponent.

Cutler’s campaign said it had received donations from 1,217 people and no political action committees, or PACs. More than two-thirds of the donors are from Maine and 30 percent are from out-of-state, it said.

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