Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling announced Wednesday that he has raised over $100,000 for his campaign to win re-election in November.

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling

The announcement comes five days before campaign finance reports must be filed at City Hall. Those reports, due Monday, will offer a more complete picture of each campaign, including the names, occupations and hometowns of donors, as well as how the campaign money has been spent.

Two other candidates, City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau and Former school board member Kate Snyder, released their fundraising totals Wednesday in response to a request from the Press Herald. Both have raised significant sums of money  – $60,000 and $45,000 respectively – but began raising money after Strimling and have not caught up.

Strimling has been raising funds since he filed paperwork on Nov. 5, 2018, and  is well on his way to surpass the $117,000 he raised four years ago, when he entered the race just three months before election day. He said he has raised a total of $102,000 so far, with $60,000 of that coming into the campaign since Jan. 1.

“We are thrilled to report a broad range of support in a grassroots, people-powered campaign that includes parents, teachers, seniors, immigrants, labor groups, small-business owners, as well as many others,” Strimling said in a written statement, promising to be the voice of the people at City Hall. “With this support, we are going to achieve so much more for the city of Portland. ”

Thibodeau said he matched Strimling’s fundraising pace since he entered the race Jan. 9. He said he raised nearly $60,000, with 65 percent coming from Portland residents and small businesses based in the city.

“I am deeply humbled by this show of support from my hometown,” Thibodeau said in a statement, highlighting the fact he was raised in Portland and attended city schools. “Portland is ready for a more collaborative approach in City Hall. This strong show of support demonstrates that our positive, hopeful message is resonating with residents.”

Spencer Thibodeau, Portland City Council District 2 incumbent (courtesy of candidate)

Kate Snyder, the leader of an educational nonprofit and a former school board member, said her campaign has raised over $45,000 since she joined the race on March 26. When asked about donations from people who live and work in Portland, she said 73 percent of her money came from Mainers.

“The response from Portland voters has been really positive. People are ready for a change at City Hall,” Snyder said in a statement. “They want a mayor who can and will work consistently and constructively with the Council, city staff, and community to make progress on our biggest issues. Most importantly, I think Portlanders are ready for someone with a temperament to lead; someone who starts with questions, not answers.”

Strimling’s other challenger, City Councilor Justin Costa, did not respond to requests for his fundraising totals.

City Councilor Belinda Ray had planned to run, but dropped out of the race late last month.

Strimling has been getting fundraising support from the local activist group Progressive Portland and former gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet, who recently announced that she’s challenging U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in 2020.

Through December, he had raised about $42,000. From Jan. 1 to June 20, he raised more than $60,000, he said in his news release.

Kate Snyder Photo courtesy of Kate Snyder

Strimling’s email fundraising messaging largely has been tied to national events and issues, especially the immigration debate. He has repeatedly pushed back against anti-immigrant rhetoric from President Trump, former Gov. Paul LePage and Fox News pundits.

It’s unclear how many of Strimling’s donations came from Portland voters or Portland business owners, or how that money has been spent. That information will be on the full finance reports to be filed Monday.

His partner and campaign manager Stephanie Clifford said she could not provide a full copy of the report to the Press Herald because she was finalizing the occupation and employer information for donors. Other campaigns were finalizing their reports, as well.

Clifford said she believes over half of the total money raised was from people who live or work in Portland.

Strimling’s campaign said 1,100 people have donated to the campaign, with 66 percent of the money coming from Maine donors and 15 percent from unions.

Portland’s mayor serves a four-year term and has no executive control of daily operations – that power rests with the city manager. The mayor’s role entails setting a vision for the city, working with the City Council to establish collective goals and policies, and working with the city manager to implement those policies and goals.

City Councilor Justin Costa

The mayor also forms the council’s committees and advocates for the city at the state and federal levels, as well as providing comments on all city budgets, over which he has veto power.

In 2018, Strimling earned a little more than $74,000 in straight pay.


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