Money rushes into 2nd District House campaign; Collins raises $800k in Q3

Note: This blog post was updated several times Tuesday to reflect campaign finance reports as they were posted by the FEC or forwarded to the BDN by the candidates. This is the final version.

Bruce Poliquin. BDN photo by Robert Bukaty.

Campaign finance reports filed with the federal government show contributions flooding into the race for the 2nd Congressional District race while incumbent Sen. Susan Collins continues to build her immense 2014 war chest.

Oct. 15 was a campaign finance report filing deadline with the Federal Election Commission. Former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, a candidate in the 2010 gubernatorial and 2012 U.S. Senate Republican primaries, led the pack in fundraising in the third quarter of 2013, from July 1 through Sept. 30, raising more than $220,000.

Of that amount, $52,000 came from the candidate himself, making Poliquin the only candidate for Maine’s sprawling northern district to have partially funded his or her own campaign.

Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono. Contributed photo.

Poliquin, of Oakland, outpaced Democratic Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono, who raised $75,000 in the third quarter, making her the top-earning Democrat in the race for the 2nd Congressional District.

Cain’s campaign fundraising total weighs in at $140,000, and she has $97,000 cash on hand, according to her filing, while Poliquin has nearly his full Q3 contributions at his disposal.

According to Cain campaign spokesman Dan Cashman, that total does not include any funds funneled through EMILY’s List, a national group that pushes campaign money toward women candidates, which recently endorsed Cain. The endorsement is expected to be a financial windfall for Cain.

Cain and Poliquin are each running in contested primaries to become their parties’ nominee in the 2014 contest to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Millinocket Democrat, who is leaving Congress after six terms to run for governor.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Reuters photo by Joshua Roberts.

Collins, meanwhile, raised more than $800,000 in the three-month reporting period, bringing total campaign contributions to more than $3.3 million, according to a report provided by the senator’s office. She has more than $2.76 million cash on hand, which she’ll use to fend off Democratic challenger Shenna Bellows of Manchester.

Bellows, the former executive director of the Maine chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union,announced her candidacy this month after the close of the third quarter. Bellows will file her first campaign finance report in January.

In his bid to replace Michaud, Republican Kevin Raye, a former Maine Senate president from Perry, raised $90,000 in the third quarter, and has about $85,000 cash on hand.In a press release, Raye’s campaign said the money had been raised in just 17 days — the period between the announcement of his candidacy and the third-quarter closing date of Sept. 30.

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Blaine Richardson is also running for the Republican nomination in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, but his campaign is costing the candidate more than he’s pulling in campaign contributions. He raised just $1,162 in the third quarter, for a campaign total of $2,312. At the end of September, Richardson listed minus $44 cash on hand, according to his filing, and his campaign owed $22,433.

Sen. Troy Jackson. BDN photo by Troy Bennett.

The only other Democrat to file a third-quarter finance report in the 2nd Congressional District race is Maine Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash, who reported $71,558 in earnings to the FEC for the third quarter.

This is Jackson’s first fundraising report since filing his candidacy in July. Jackson has about $45,000 cash on hand, according to a news release sent by his campaign.

Democrat Alden Smith of Sangerville also said he would for Michaud’s seat, but has not yet made their candidacy official by filing with the FEC.

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, raised $45,131, and has more than $207,000 cash on hand. The only Republican to have thrown his hat in the ring against Pingree is political newcomer Isaac Misiuk of Gorham.

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.