WASHINGTON — The money race between U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and his Republican challenger, state Senate President Kevin Raye, appears to be tightening.

Raye topped the Democratic incumbent in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District during the most recent campaign finance reporting period, raising more than $165,000 from May 24 to June 30. Michaud raised just shy of $109,000 during that time.

The race in the 1st District remains lopsided, with Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree leading her Republican challenger, state Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney.

Amy Fried a political scientist at the University of Maine, said $165,000 “is a credible amount of money for Kevin Raye to have raised.”

“The 2nd District is always a swing district, particularly when it’s an open seat,” Fried said. “However, Representative Michaud has been very popular and that makes it difficult for challengers.”

Raye’s campaign manager, Rob Caverly, said in a prepared statement, “Kevin’s strong fundraising performance is in keeping with what we’re seeing on the campaign trail. People are responding well to his positive message.”

Nonetheless, Michaud’s war chest remains significantly larger than Raye’s. The five-term incumbent had $634,658 remaining in his account, compared with Raye’s $242,341, according to reports due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday.

Michaud’s campaign noted that he raised more money than Raye from April 1 to June 30.

“We feel pretty good,” said Greg Olson, Michaud’s campaign manager. “We have been focused on the fact that we would have a competitive race … and we have been aggressively raising money since the end of the last race. So we are happy with the pace we have set.”

In southern Maine’s congressional district, Pingree continued to outpace Courtney by significant margins in cash flow and money available to spend.

Pingree reported raising $166,630 during the period — more than 10 times the $15,678 raised by the Courtney campaign. Pingree had $349,451 in her campaign fund while Courtney had $19,360, according to an amended report filed by the Courtney campaign.

Keith Herrick, Courtney’s campaign manager, said the Republican held no fundraisers before the June 30 cutoff date for the report.

“We have held three since the end of the reporting period and they have been very well attended,” Herrick said Sunday night.

“We obviously know we are never going to raise as much money as the Pingree campaign, and we are fine with that,” he said, and Courtney believes that his message is resonating with voters.

Pingree’s campaign noted that twice as many individuals — nearly 1,100 — made donations from April to June 30 as did during the same period in her 2010 campaign.

Her campaign manager, Kate Simmons, said in a prepared statement, “The incredible support Chellie is getting shows that people really appreciate it when an elected official isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.”

More than half of Courtney’s money came from political action committees, political parties or GOP political figures, including Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Olympia Snowe and her husband, former Gov. John McKernan. PACs donated $38,000 of Pingree’s $166,000.

Pingree is married to financier S. Donald Sussman, a contributor to Democratic and charitable causes and the majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which owns the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and other media outlets in Maine.

The race in the 2nd District is considered by political observers to be the more competitive of the two in Maine.

A recent poll done for Maine Today Media showed Michaud leading Raye 47 percent to 35 percent, with 18 percent undecided.

But the National Republican Congressional Committee — which is working to build GOP ranks in the House — recently named Raye one of 28 top prospects in 2012 and one of just three in the Northeast.

“We view this as one of our top races in the country,” said the committee’s regional spokesman, Nathaniel Sillin, Monday. “Mike Michaud is vulnerable and we see this as an opportunity.”

Money from PACs has started flowing into the race.

Raye received $20,500 from PACs in the reporting period, including $5,000 apiece from the National Republican Congressional Committee and The Freedom Project, which is Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s PAC.

Michaud raised $68,000 of his $108,000 from PACs. The sources of those donations range from union-affiliated PACs to the $2,500 Michaud received from the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association RockPAC.

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