With Cain leading money race, 2nd Congressional District spending tops $1.3 million

It's all about the Benjamins, baby.  Creative Commons photo.

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Creative Commons photo.

The four candidates vying to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in the 2nd Congressional District have spent $1.3 million so far — and we don’t even know who the nominees will be.

The latest campaign finance reports, filed with the federal government last night, show Democratic candidate and state Sen. Emily Cain leading the money race, having raised more cash than anyone else in the most recent period, from April 1 through May 21 ($108,854), and the campaign as a whole ($601,252). She’s also got more in her “war chest” — that’s cash on hand — than any other candidate, carrying $144,823 into the 10-day stretch before the primaries on June 10.

On the Democrats’ side, Cain is trouncing her opponent, state Sen. Troy Jackson. Jackson raised just $36,983 in the most recent period, and has raised $277,024 to-date. He’s got just $19,439 cash on hand. That may sound like a lot, but as evidenced by the campaign pleading for donations so Jackson can buy airtime, it’s not.

On the other side of the aisle, former state Senate President Kevin Raye pulled in nearly $71,000 in the most recent period, bringing his campaign total to $356,801. Meanwhile, former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin raised the least in the most recent period, just $34,483, for a campaign total of $525,011.

A note on that Poliquin figure, though: Of the more than half-million his campaign has raised, $113,681 came from Poliquin’s own pockets. That’s a little over one-fifth of his contributions. Poliquin he could feasibly just reach a little deeper into his personal coffers, if necessary. Personal cash aside, Poliquin has raised more from individuals and groups than Raye.

Poliquin was also the big spender in the most recent period: The $233,630 he spent in seven weeks is more than was spent by Jackson ($83,443) and Raye ($111,197) combined. A lot of Poliquin’s cash went toward the TV ads he’s produced — he was the first on the airwaves, and has produced more TV spots than any other candidate.

Cain spent $182,106 in the reporting period, bringing her campaign total spending to $455,036 — the highest in the race.

A few other notes:

  • Cain has raised more money from PACs than any other candidate. Political groups other than party committees have given her $52,040 total. Next is Jackson, with $51,250, then Raye with $27,601 and Poliquin, with $2,000.
  • That $1.3 million that’s already been spent in this race? That’s only accounting for spending by the actual candidates. Third-party groups will also likely be making a push in the next week and a half. On that subject …
  • The League of Conservation Voters has already pledged $150,000 mail campaign against Jackson in the Bangor area. And EMILY’s List — the D.C. powerhouse for electing women into office, and one of Cain’s top donors — confirms they’ll spend “six figures” airing TV ads in Portland and Bangor to support Cain, starting Tuesday, June 3.
  • Two more big endorsements were announced just this morning: The NRA has thrown its hat in the ring for Raye, and Planned Parenthood will support Cain. The endorsements could mean more independent spending on ad campaigns, sure, but they could also translate into cold, hard cash for the candidates to spend.
  • These are the last complete campaign finance reports we’ll see until after the primaries on June 10, though any contributions of $1,000 or more will have to be reported to the FEC within 48 hours. Cain and Raye are already reporting a couple of those.
Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.