Democratic Gov. Janet Mills continues to expand her fundraising advantage over former two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

The Mills campaign announced Tuesday that the incumbent raised over $990,000 in the last two months, bringing her total raised so far to $4.8 million, more than twice the total raised by LePage.

Candidates for Maine governor Sam Hunkler, Paul LePage and Gov. Janet Mills

The LePage campaign raised $442,000 during the most recent two-month period, bringing his total to more than $2.2 million, his campaign said.

Mills has already raised far more than she did during her first run for governor in 2018, when she raised just over $3 million. And she also is benefiting from a surge of spending from outside groups attacking LePage.

A spokeswoman for Mills said the pace of donations reflects broad support for her reelection, while LePage aides have pointed out that he also was outspent in his successful campaigns for governor in 2010 and 2014.

With five weeks left before the election, Mills and LePage have about the same amount of cash on hand, about $1.4 million and $1.3 million respectively, according to the campaigns.


The 42-day preelection reports due Tuesday cover activity from July 20 to Sept. 20. While the campaigns released summaries, the full reports listing specific contributions and expenditures were not yet available Tuesday evening.

“Our strong fundraising continues to demonstrate that Maine people believe in Janet, her leadership, and her vision for Maine – but we are taking nothing for granted,” Mills campaign manager Alexandra Raposo said in a written statement. “As we close in on the final stretch of the campaign, we are proud of the tremendous support we have from across the state, but Janet will continue to work hard every day to earn the trust and votes of Maine people.”

Brent Littlefield, senior political adviser for LePage, said at this point during LePage’s successful campaign in 2014, the campaign had raised $1.6 million and had $988,000 on hand.

“Fundraising totals show the campaign outpacing 2014,” Littlefield said.

Political newcomer Sam Hunkler, a Beals physician who is mounting a longshot independent bid against his two well-known challengers, is sticking with his pledge to finance his own campaign and not seek donations.

So far, Hunkler has contributed more than $3,800 to his campaign, including $2,200 for the most recent period. As of Sept. 20, he had just under $550 on-hand.


“I am beholden to no one and no special interest because I have self-financed my campaign,” Hunkler said in a written statement. “We currently have a government of political parties by politicians for special interests.”

Mills has held a funding advantage throughout the campaign. As of July, Mills had raised $3.8 million compared to LePage’s nearly $1.7 million.

Outside groups are also spending big in Maine’s gubernatorial race, and analysts are predicting independent expenditures will dwarf spending in the 2018 race for governor.

About $18 million was spent in the 2018 gubernatorial election, when Mills defeated Republican Shawn Moody and independents Terry Hayes and Alan Caron. The candidates spent a combined total of $7 million, while outside groups spent $11.1 million.

AdImpact, an Alexandra, Virginia-based group that tracks and projects political spending, estimates that $127 million could be spent on Maine’s midterm elections, including $27 million on the three-way race for governor.

Since mid-June, groups not affiliated with the candidates have spent nearly $5.6 million to influence the gubernatorial race, with about 75 percent – or $4 million – being spent on ads attacking Mills or LePage. Outside groups have spent nearly $3.4 million in September alone, including $2.6 million on attack ads.

So far, LePage has been targeted the most, with outside groups spending nearly $3.2 million attacking him. Nearly all of that – roughly $3.1 million – is being spent by Better Maine, a political action committee primarily funded and operated by the Democratic Governors Association.

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