Who's spending money on Waldo County races?

Clean Elections candidates clean up on campaign funds

Candidates stay mostly positive; outside groups not so much
By Ethan Andrews | Nov 05, 2018

Candidates running with Maine Clean Elections Act funding took in up to seven times the money and spent as much as 25 times what their traditionally funded counterparts spent in Waldo County races.

A comparison of campaign finances disclosed to Maine Ethics Commission as of Nov. 1 appears below.

Outside spending by political parties and political action committees (PACs) on Waldo County races was spotty in the days before the general election, with the biggest player being Rebuild Maine, a PAC registered in Auburn that spent $21,149 supporting Democratic candidates in three races.

Scott Cuddy, in House District 98, was the largest intended beneficiary of Rebuild Maine's spending, with $14,498 spent on ads and canvassing in support of the Winterport Democrat.

Cuddy is running against Republican Brian Kresge, also of Winterport, for an open seat representing Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville and Winterport.

Rebuild Maine spent a little more than $2,000 in support of Democrat Jan Dodge of Belfast, whose opponent for House District 97 informally withdrew in September.

The political action committee, registered in Auburn, also spent $9,522 backing Senate District 11 candidate Erin Herbig, D-Belfast.

Outside money supporting Herbig totaled $36,350, with most coming from Maine Democratic State Committee. Her opponent, Republican Jayne Giles of Belfast, was nominally the beneficiary of $26,753 in outside spending, with a little less than half from the National Association of Realtors, and the remainder from the state Republican Party and Senate Chairman's PAC.

Incumbent House District 96 Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, was one of two Waldo County candidates targeted with negative spending by outside groups. Women's Leadership Fund, registered in Warren, funded about $1,000 worth of negative mailers, both directly and through Building the Maine House PAC.

The organization — which lists its causes as opposing all Democrats in Maine, supporting all Republicans and opposing Question 2 — spent the same amount toward defeating Democrats in 12 other House races. The group was behind a graphic newspaper ad and mailer in Knox County accusing a Democratic representative of failing to protect Maine women from female genital mutilation.

Herbig in Senate District 11 was the subject of a little more than $8,000 in negative spending by the Maine Republican Party.

As of Nov. 1, Maine Ethics Commission had no records of money spent opposing Giles. However, The Republican Journal received an email from the Washington D.C. advocacy firm STG Results, which is not registered in Maine, linking to an unattributed attack website with pages targeting 50 Republican candidates in state and national races, including Giles.

No outside spending was reported in the House District 99 race between incumbent Republican Rep. MaryAnne Kinney of Knox, and her challenger for the second time, Democrat April Turner of Freedom.

Records of independent spending on elections for Maine's 2nd Congressional district and U.S. Senate can be viewed at opensecrets.org.

Editor's note: A photo collage in an earlier version of this article included an image from a national group's website mentioned in this story targeting a local candidate. We removed that image to avoid confusion with documented campaign spending from organizations registered with Maine Ethics Commission.

Candidates' individual finances
Raised Spent
Senate Erin Herbig, D-Belfast $73,809.00 $68,256.13
District 11 Jayne Giles, R-Belfast $55,738.81 $44,373.57
House S.Paige Zeigler, D-Montville $10,393.45 $7,910.59
District 96 Robert Currier, R-Belmont $1,380.00 $306.74
House Jan Dodge, D-Belfast $11,144.86 $3,776.33
District 97 Bevelyn Beatty, R-Belfast* $266.99 $0.00
House Brian Kresge, R-Winterport $1,950.00 $536.30
District 98 Scott Cuddy, R-Winterport $7,470.09 $6,656.75
House MaryAnne Kinney, R-Knox $3,585.00 $1,723.68
District 99 April Turner, D-Freedom $9,688.35 $8,365.47
Waldo Cty Jeffrey Trafton $5,235.00 $5,201.82
Sheriff John Gibbs $6,107.19 $3,764.48
Waldo Cty Betty Johnson $1,085.00 $1,080.26
Commission Rosendel Gerry $0.00 $0.00
Maine Clean Elections
*
unofficially withdrawn

 

 

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