Eliot Cutler reported Thursday that his independent campaign for governor raised more than $400,000 in the two-month period that ended Tuesday.

Cutler also loaned his campaign an additional $100,000, bringing the total raised to $500,000, according to a statement his staff issued about a week before reports are due at the Maine ethics commission.

“What this report shows is that the Cutler campaign is strong and momentum is building,” campaign manager Ted O’Meara said. “On Monday and Tuesday of this week we had two of the best fundraising days of the campaign so far, which tells us voters are starting to pay attention to the race and to focus on who would be the best governor.”

Cutler’s campaign said 961 people donated during the 42-day pre-general election period from July 16 through Sept. 16, including 384 who donated for the first time.

The independent, who is still lagging in the polls behind incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, already has raised more this election cycle than he did during the 2010 campaign, when he narrowly lost to LePage.

Michaud and LePage had not released fundraising figures Thursday, but campaign finance reports are not due until midnight Tuesday.

The reports, filed in July, revealed that Cutler had raised about $2 million, nearly half of which had come from the candidate. Michaud had raised just shy of $2 million and LePage had raised about $1.3 million.

For cash on hand, Michaud led the way with about $1 million, followed by LePage at $917,000 and Cutler at $527,000. The campaign would not say how much cash Cutler now has on hand.

Cutler has spent significantly more money but he doesn’t have the benefit of party support. Additionally, there is a political action committee, Campaign for Maine, that has supported his campaign, but it has not spent nearly as much money as the other political action committees that have supported or opposed Michaud and LePage.

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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