Expect to see an uptick in political advertising on TV – two groups have dropped almost a half-million dollars in television ads in Maine’s governor’s race.

The Democratic Party-backed political action committee A Better Maine reported spending $297,659 in ads opposing Republican Shawn Moody, while the Maine Republican Party reported spending $147,665 on ads opposing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Janet Mills.

The latest filing brings A Better Maine’s overall spending to about $1.8 million, and the Republican Party committee’s to just over $650,000, according to state campaign finance reports.

Both groups have spent most of their money on ads attacking their political opponents.

Of the Maine Republican Party’s $650,000 in spending, about $392,00 has been for ads opposing Mills, the state’s attorney general, and $265,000 for ads supporting Moody, who owns a chain of auto body repair shops.

A Better Maine has spent $1.5 million opposing Moody and $360,000 supporting Mills.

In early August, Moody and Mills were in a statistical dead heat in the race, with 39 percent each, according to a Suffolk University poll conducted then. Independent candidates Terry Hayes, the state treasurer, and economic development consultant Alan Caron trailed at 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Total outside spending over the entire 2018 election cycle, including the primary, is just shy of $4 million so far – mostly by Democratic-backed groups. The race has yet to enter the most intense period for major media buys, which is usually in the final weeks of a campaign.

Earlier this week the gubernatorial candidates filed campaign finance documents outlining how much money they have raised and spent so far.

The campaigns are not allowed to coordinate with the outside spending groups.

Overall, Mills has raised a total of $1.8 million for the race, to Moody’s $1.4 million.

Hayes, the only gubernatorial candidate who is using Maine’s public campaign finance system, has raised $1.2 million, and Caron, who loaned his campaign $725,00, has raised $785,000.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: noelinmaine


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