Three prominent candidates for mayor of Portland filed detailed campaign finance reports this week that provide a look inside what is expected to be a record-setting election.

Mayor Ethan Strimling, City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau and former school board member Kate Snyder raised a combined $207,000 as of June 30. Strimling has far outraised his challengers, accounting for $102,451 of the total raised.

Fair Elections Portland, a recently formed group that wants Portland to adopt a publicly financed clean elections system, said the fundraising totals four months before the Nov. 5 election indicate this race will far exceed the money raised in Portland’s two previous mayoral elections. The total raised by mayoral candidates in 2015 was a little more than $182,000. In 2011, 15 candidates raised a total of a little more than $300,000, the group said.

Spencer Thibodeau

Fair Election Portland’s said the increased level of fundraising and spending underscores the need for public financing to replace private donations in Portland elections. “Local elections should be about people, not money,” Anna Kellar, spokeswoman for Fair Elections Portland, said in a written statement.

While the three candidates announced fundraising totals last week, the reports filed Monday provide the details about who donated and how the campaigns are spending the money. A fourth candidate, Thaddeus St. John, launched his campaign last week but did not file a report indicating any fundraising activity.

Candidates for mayor do not have to file nominating petitions until Aug. 26, so it’s not known how many candidates will be on the ballot in November.


Strimling has raised $102,451 since November, including $60,139 since the beginning of 2019. His campaign spent $31,459, leaving a cash balance of $70,237, according to the report.

Thibodeau has raised $59,410 since entering the race Jan. 9. His campaign has spent $26,340, leaving a cash balance of $33,070.

Snyder has raised $45,070 since she joined the race March 26. She has spent $15,835 and has $29,234 cash in hand, her report says.

Kate Snyder

The reports cover all fundraising and spending between Jan. 1 and June 30. The next round of reports will be due Sept. 24.

The maximum individual donation is $850, and some donations are $10 or less. Donors who give less than $50 in total are grouped together and not listed by name.

Strimling’s large donors include residents and business leaders, political allies, out-of-state supporters and labor unions.


According Strimling’s campaign finance report, 22 percent of his named contributions since Jan. 1 were from Portland individuals or businesses. Strimling’s in-state contributions, excluding Portland residents, accounted for 21 percent of his total contributions. Out-of-state contributions accounted for 31 percent of Strimling’s total contributions. Some of those are unions that likely represent local workers. The remaining 26 percent of  cash contributions were from unnamed donors who gave less than $50.

Among the unions supporting Strimling, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers donated $850, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and International Brotherhood of Teamsters each donated $800 and the Portland Longshoreman’s Benevolent Society donated $500 and International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 4 each donated $500.

Portlanders Stuart and Karen Watson each gave $850. Suzanne Botana, wife of schools superintendent Xavier Botana, gave $850.

Rob Tod, owner of Allagash Brewing, and Peter Vigue, chief executive officer of Cianbro, each donated $500. Former Gov. John Baldacci donated $250 and Kathryn Sykes, co-chair of the Portland chapter of the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America, donated $500.

Strimling’s out-of-state support included $850 from Max Carlson, an engineer in San Francisco, $500 from Marc Gross, a New York City attorney, and $500 from Mona Bector, a Massachusetts resident who served as Portland’s assistant city manager for three months last year.

Spending by the Strimling campaign included $6,000 to Megan Gean Gendron for fundraising, $4,000 for polling and $2,000 to Baldacci Communications for campaign management, in addition to spending on video production, printing and campaign events.


Thibodeau’s large donors include city residents, leaders of Portland’s business and legal communities and several prominent real estate developers and companies.

About 59 percent of the contributions were made by people identified as Portland residents or businesses, 34 percent came from other Maine donors and 6 percent were from out-of-state contributions. About 2 percent of his total contributions were donations of $50 or less.

Donations from developers include $850 each from David Bateman and Nathan Bateman of Bateman Partners, $850 from Kevin Bunker of Developers Collaborative, $800 from developer James Brady and $800 from Josh Benthien of Northland Enterprises. Other contributions from real estate industry leaders include $800 from broker Gregory Boulos and $800 from property owner and manager Tom Watson.

Contributions from other prominent business leaders include $500 from MEMIC CEO Michael Bourque, $850 from the proprietors of Union Wharf, $500 from DiMillo’s Restaurant owner Steve DiMillo and $500 from Unified Parking Partners, a company that operates private fee parking spaces throughout the city.

A pair of former Portland mayors gave to Thibodeau. Anne Pringle gave $250 and Cheryl Leeman gave $100.

Thibodeau’s spending includes $7,200 to Chann Creative for campaign consulting, and $4,000 for campaign videos, in addition to spending on web ads and printing campaign signs and literature.


Snyder’s donations come from a variety of Portland residents and business leaders, as well as residents of surrounding communities and a few prominent political supporters. All of her donations are from individuals, including many from retirees or self-employed people.

Approximately 41 percent are Portland residents, 24 percent are Maine residents and 27 percent reside out of state. The rest were small, unnamed donors.

Real estate developer James Brady donated $850, the same amount he donated to Thibodeau’s campaign. Jonathan Cohen , president of AD&W Architectural Doors and Windows, gave $750. Peter Handy, president of Bristol Seafood, contributed $850.

Former gubernatorial candidates Eliot Cutler, an independent, and Rosa Scarcelli, a Democrat, gave $500 and $850, respectively. Lucas St. Clair, a Democrat who ran for Congress in Maine’s 2nd district, donated $250. Sean Mahoney, attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, donated $500.

Snyder’s spending includes $9,000 to Em Burnett for campaign management, in addition to money spent on yard signs, direct mailing and other advertising.

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