By PATRICK WHITTLE, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine‘s Democratic governor has a sizeable fundraising advantage over her Republican rival heading into the final stretch of the campaign.
Gov. Janet Mills, the governor since her 2018 election, has raised more than $5.5 million in her bid to remain in office against Republican former Gov. Paul LePage. LePage has raised more than $2.5 million.
The campaigns were due to release campaign finance data to the state Friday. The filings showed that Mills has continued to outraise and outspend LePage during the contentious race between the two old rivals.
While the Mills campaign said the fundraising totals show broad support for the governor, LePage’s campaign said the Republican is used to being outraised in statewide elections.
“With a little more than a week left in this campaign, our strong fundraising numbers continue to show that Maine people believe in Janet, her leadership, and her positive vision for Maine,” said Alexandra Raposo, campaign manager for the Janet Mills for Governor Campaign.
LePage is focused on winning, not on campaign filings, said Brent Littlefield, a spokesperson for the campaign.
“Paul LePage is getting his message out that we must move Maine forward,” Littlefield said.
LePage was termed out of office in 2019. Under Maine law, a former governor can serve again as long as they never serve more than two consecutive terms.
Before becoming governor, Mills served as attorney general twice, including several years that overlapped with LePage’s two terms in office. The two sparred occasionally during that time, and their campaign has renewed their old hostilities.
The two engaged in a feisty debate Thursday night in which both candidates accused the other of spreading misinformation. They also disagreed over the health of Maine’s economy. LePage described Mills as “one hell of a bad economist,” while Mills said she has “spent the better part of my career listening to loud men talk tough to disguise their weaknesses.”
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