PORTLAND — A pair of Republican businessmen in Maine hoped an anticipated anti-incumbent wave sweeping across the country would make up for what they lacked in fundraising firepower as they fought to unseat Democratic U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree today.

In the 1st District, Pingree faced accusations of being a hypocrite for accepting flights on her millionaire fiance’s corporate jet after having decried such congressional perks, while Republican challenger Dean Scontras attacked her as a liberal in lockstep with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Republican Jason Levesque hammered away for 18 months at Michaud in the 2nd District, saying he was out of step with the more conservative of Maine’s two districts by voting for the federal stimulus bill, the president’s health care reform and cap-and-trade carbon emission regulations.

Both Republicans mounted feisty challenges despite being outgunned in the fundraising department. Pre-election polls had Scontras and Levesque gaining ground.

In southern Maine, Pingree quelled much of the furor over her high-flying travel by producing a letter from the House Ethics Committee saying the flights were acceptable since the luxury jet was owned by her fiance, hedge fund tycoon S. Donald Sussman. But Republicans continued to accuse her of being a hypocrite after having testified against such congressional perks as former head of Common Cause.

To the north, Michaud touted his efforts to improve health care for veterans while promoting himself as an independent-minded blue dog Democrat despite criticism from Levesque that he voted with Pelosi 96 percent of the time. Levesque said veterans needed jobs, not just health care.

Levesque, an Army veteran from Auburn, is owner of Argo Marketing Group, and was making his first foray into politics. Scontras, a native of Kittery, runs an alternative energy business in York County and entered politics in 2008 with a 1st District primary loss to Charlie Summers.

Pingree, who was born in Minneapolis and lives on North Haven island, served in the Maine Senate before joining Common Cause as president and CEO after an unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid. Two years ago, she became the first Democratic woman elected to serve Maine in the U.S. House.

A former mill worker, Michaud of East Millinocket is wrapping up his fourth term in Congress. He’s the first recognized Franco-American from Maine to be elected to Congress.