Patrick Whittle
Patrick Whittle is based in Maine and covers environment.
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Maine governor outraising ex-gov in reelection drive so far

January 18, 2022 GMT
FILE-Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, in this June 17, 2021, file photo in Augusta, Maine. The Democratic governor is out-raising her chief opponent, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, in her drive for reelection so far. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)
FILE-Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, in this June 17, 2021, file photo in Augusta, Maine. The Democratic governor is out-raising her chief opponent, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, in her drive for reelection so far. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)
FILE-Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, in this June 17, 2021, file photo in Augusta, Maine. The Democratic governor is out-raising her chief opponent, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, in her drive for reelection so far. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)
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FILE-Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, in this June 17, 2021, file photo in Augusta, Maine. The Democratic governor is out-raising her chief opponent, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, in her drive for reelection so far. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)
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FILE-Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, in this June 17, 2021, file photo in Augusta, Maine. The Democratic governor is out-raising her chief opponent, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, in her drive for reelection so far. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Democratic governor is outraising her chief opponent, a Republican former governor, in her drive for reelection so far.

The campaign to reelect Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday the governor has raised more than $1.6 million. The campaign of former Gov. Paul LePage, who held the office from 2011 to 2019, said it has raised almost $900,000 so far.

Campaign filings for the final six months of the year were due to the state on Tuesday. Mills, first elected in 2018, had a head start on LePage, who kicked off his campaign to return to his old job in September.

Mills and LePage were often rivals during LePage’s tenure as governor, during which Mills served as the state attorney general. Their race against each other is one several gubernatorial contests that will be on the national radar during the 2022 midterm elections.

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Mills raised more than $1 million of her total during the final six months of the year, said Alexandra Raposo, the manager of Mills’ campaign.

“Our strong fundraising report shows that Maine people believe in Janet and are ready to stand with her as she continues her fight for Maine families and for a strong economy with good-paying jobs in every part of the state,” Raposo said.

The LePage campaign said it’s also satisfied with its fundraising totals, especially considering that it got off to a later start. LePage has more cash on hand at this point than he did in his last two efforts, which were both successful, the campaign said.

“The campaign has received donations to date from people living in over 400 of Maine’s cities and towns,” the LePage campaign said in a statement.

LePage was termed out of office in 2019, but Maine law allows a former governor to serve again as long as they never serve more than two consecutive terms.

State campaign finance records also listed contributions and expenditures for a handful of other candidates, none of whom had their records updated for the last half of 2021 by Tuesday afternoon.

Republican candidate Michael Heath had raised about $4,000. He did not respond to an email seeking comment. Another Republican candidate, Martin Vachon, also did not respond to an email seeking comment. State records listed Vachon as having yet to raise money.