Maine congressman out in front ahead of June primary
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin reported more than $2.2 million in his campaign war chest as of March as Democratic opponents prepare for their June primary.
Democrats Jared Golden, Lucas St. Clair, Jonathan Fulford and Craig Olson are competing to face the congressman in the November general election. The campaign money they have combined — $1.3 million through March — falls far short of Poliquin’s, according to campaign finance reports submitted by the Sunday deadline.
Yet, national Democratic groups have targeted Poliquin’s seat as one to flip to their party. The political action committee linked to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said it’ll spend $1.7 million on TV ads in Portland, Bangor and Presque Isle ahead of the November election, the Washington Post reported .
In recent weeks, a Republican political action committee linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced plans to open an office in Maine to support Poliquin’s re-election bid.
Among the Democratic candidates, Golden raised the most during the reporting period, with about $300,000 on hand at the end of March. Golden raised roughly $53,000 this year from Serve America Victory Fund, campaign finance reports show. A Massachusetts congressman started the fund to support Democratic veterans challenging sitting Republican lawmakers.
Golden raised roughly 40 percent of his donations from individuals giving less than $200, according to the Federal Election Commission.
St. Clair, the son of Maine-based Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, led efforts for a new national monument in the Katahdin area. He raised about $425,000 and reported just under $200,000 at the end of March.
Fulford, a longtime farmer and carpenter, reported about $84,000 in cash on hand. Antique book dealer Craig Olson reported $60,992.
Poliquin’s campaign spokesman, Brent Littlefield, said the congressman has $400,000 more in the bank than he did at the same time two years ago. He has raised about half of his funds from political committees and just under $29,000 from donors who contributed $200 or less.