Pingree leads in election funding; 1st District suitors raise $2M so far

Posted on February 2, 2008


Pingree leads in election funding; 1st District suitors raise $2M so far

BYLINE: WALTER GRIFFIN

MAINE: With six Democrats and two Republicans vying to replace incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Allen in the 1st District, the upcoming primary shapes up to be the costliest ever.

According to the most recent financial reports filed by the campaigns with the Federal Election Commission, more than $2 million already has been raised with the primary election still five months away, and the general election another four months after that.

The majority of the campaign money went to the Democrats, and leading that pack is former president of Common Cause and 2002 U.S. Senate candidate Chellie Pingree of North Haven. Topping the Republican field is Dean Scontras, a businessman from Eliot.

Pingree, who has raised twice as much as her nearest competitor in the Democratic field, reported contributions of $783,549, including $303,365 in the final quarter of last year.

Scontras, the Republican with the most money, reported receiving $157,761 in contributions by the end of last year.

For the other Democrats, state Sen. Ethan Strimling, D-Portland, reported $337,026 in contributions to finish second behind Pingree. York County District Attorney Mark Lawrence of Kittery reported contributions of $326,252; Maine Army National Guard staff judge advocate Adam Cote of Sanford reported raising $304,894; former state senator and policy associate at the Muskie School of Public Service Michael Brennan of Portland reported contributions of $152,410 for the final quarter; and Dr. Stephen Joseph Meister of Portland reported contributions of $46,300.

All together, the Democratic candidates have already raised $1.9 million. Other than the two-year term of Republican James Longley during the mid-1990s, the 1st District has been represented by a Democratic congressmen since 1987.

The other Republican in the primary race, former state Sen. Charles Summers of Scarborough, who is currently serving in the Persian Gulf as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, reported contributions of $117,127 through the final quarter.

Of her $783,549 in contributions, Pingree reported receiving $761,209 from individuals with $17,300 coming from political action committees. As of the end of the year, the campaign had spent $340,698, had $442,851 cash on hand and $500 in debts.

Scontras reported that $147,608 was contributed by individuals and $1,000 by political action committees in the final quarter of 2007. The campaign had spent $156,056, had $25,954 cash on hand and had incurred $38,400 in debts by year's end.

Republican Summers, reported receiving $116,127 in contributions from individuals and $1,000 from political action committees. His campaign had spent $46,169 had $70,973 cash on hand and debts of $77,741.

For the Democrats, Strimling reported receiving $332,976 from individual contributions and $1,750 from political action committees. The campaign has spent $140,906 and has $195,919 on hand.

Lawrence reported receiving $325,844 in individual contributions, including a donation of $371 from himself. The campaign had spent $136,763, had $189,149 on hand and debts of $993.

Cote reported receiving $295,313 from individuals and $6,000 from political action committees. The campaign has spent $112,696 and has $192,197 on hand.

Brennan reported receiving $147,337 in individual contributions and $1,000 from political action committees. He contributed $3,050 to his own campaign. The campaign has spent $70,071 and has $82,339 on hand.

Meister reported receiving $30,252 in individual contributions and contributed $10,199 of his own money to the campaign.

Date: 2/2/2008 12:00:00 AM

Office: Common Cause Maine

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