U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree continues to outraise her challengers in the 1st District congressional race, pulling in almost twice as much in the most recent quarter and leaving her with more cash on hand for the final weeks of the race.

Things are much tighter in the 2nd District, where Democratic challenger Jared Golden has slightly outraised the Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin. But Golden has been spending freely and goes into the final weeks with a disadvantage – holding only $648,000 cash in hand to Poliquin’s $2 million. The race, which has attracted national attention, is flooding the airwaves with ads.

Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven who has held the seat representing southern and coastal Maine since 2009, brought in $272,383 in the most recent quarter, for a total of $680,348 raised so far, according to new federal campaign finance reports.

That compares with quarterly totals of $164,334 raised by Martin Grohman, a former Democratic Biddeford legislator running as an independent, and $20,594 raised by Republican Mark Holbrook.

Grohman has raised a total of $328,044 – $200,000 of it his own money – and has $115,919 cash on hand, while Holbrook has raised a total of $85,691 and has $53,840 cash on hand.

Pingree, who has been spending money this election cycle on television ads, unlike in 2016, has $334,615 cash on hand.

In 2016, Pingree defeated Holbrook by a 58-42 percent margin. This year’s race will be the first congressional general election conducted under ranked-choice voting, in which voters rank the candidates in order of preference.

In the 2nd District race, Golden brought in $2.7 million compared with $538,000 for Poliquin, who has represented the sprawling district since 2015.

On Monday, Golden, a state representative from Lewiston, said the robust fundraising was an indication that voters “are ready for real change.”

Poliquin, who started off with a much larger campaign treasury, has more money to spend in the upcoming weeks: Poliquin’s “substantial cash advantage puts him in a strong position in the final weeks of the campaign,” said Brendan Conley, the congressman’s campaign spokesman.

In the Senate race, incumbent Angus King, an independent, is far outpacing his two challengers in both raising funds and cash on hand. King raised $513,013 in the third quarter, for a total of $5.4 million since January 2017. He has $2.3 million in hand for the last stretch of the race.

The Republican challenger, state Sen. Eric Brakey, brought in $244,538 in the third quarter, for a total raised of $708,613. He has $110,646 cash on hand for the final weeks.

Democrat Zak Ringelstein, a former educator who lives in Yarmouth, brought in $34,783 in individual contributions in the third quarter for a total of $212,125 for the entire campaign, and he has $116,000 cash on hand. Ringelstein, who co-created and sold an education software company called UClass, has loaned his own campaign almost $200,000.

In addition to the money raised by the candidates, millions of dollars have been spent on the 2nd District race by super PACs and each political party to try to boost their favorite candidate in the Nov. 6 election.

Republican officials pointed out that Poliquin won in both 2014 and 2016 despite being outspent by his Democratic foes and outside groups hoping to boost the Democrats.

The two independents in the 2nd District race – Portland lawyer Tiffany Bond and Southwest Harbor educator Will Hoar – were not expected to have raised enough money to be required to report to the Federal Election Commission. Bond has refused to accept any donations for her campaign.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: noelinmaine

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