Cost of Mavodones’ Portland City Council campaign: $42K

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PORTLAND — It wasn’t a record-setting campaign fundraising year for city politicians.

Except for City Councilor Nick Mavodones.

Post-election spending reports required of candidates on Dec. 18 show Mavodones raised and spent $42,000 to win his eighth term on the City Council.

The 42-day reports were added to semiannual reports filed July 16 and quarterly reports filed Oct. 26. Only candidates who raised or spent at least $500 by June 30 were required to file semiannual reports. Totals for amounts raised include in-kind contributions and loans.

Beginning in 2019, municipal candidates will also have to file finance reports 42 days before an election, which is required of candidates for state offices.

Mavodones raised and spent less than $500 when he last ran in 2015, meaning he did not have to file campaign finance reports that year.

He narrowly defeated challenger Joey Brunelle for the councilor-at-large seat, 14,836 to 14,134.

Brunelle trailed by a wider margin in fundraising, after declaring he would not accept donations from out-of-state individuals, political action committees or real estate developers. He raised $6,500 and spent $6,700.

In council District 1, where incumbent Councilor Belinda Ray defeated Matthew Coffey to win a second term, Ray’s 42-day report was not on file at City Hall as of Dec. 20. Her two prior filings reported raising $6,700 and spending $3,100. When her campaign began, Ray said she would cap fundraising at $6,500.

In his third unsuccessful bid for a council seat, Coffey reported raising and spending $260. Coffey’s 42-day post-election report was not on file at City Hall on Dec. 20.

While winning his second term in District 2, Councilor Spencer Thibodeau reported raising and spending $21,000. When he first ran in 2015, Thibodeau raised $15,000.

His opponent, Jon Torsch, reported raising and spending $1,600.

In 2017 council races, Councilor Jill Duson and challengers Bree LaCasse and Brunelle raised $93,000 for one at-large race, with LaCasse bringing in $50,000 while finishing third.

This year, the combined fundraising total for three council races involving six candidates was $77,800.

School Board incumbent Sarah Thompson and newcomer Abusana “Micky” Bondo reported no financial activity in their uncontested races.

In District 2, where Emily Figdor easily defeated Jeanne Swanton to replace Holly Seeliger, Figdor also had a sizable fundraising advantage. She reported raising $15,200 and spending $14,300, while Swanton raised and spent $9,300.

In 2017, opposition to referendum questions affecting rent and zoning regulations raised about $425,000. This year, referendum questions allowing the city to join the regional education alliance and to have candidates file reports 42 days before an election attracted no reported campaign financial support.

David Harry can be reached at 780-9092 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Mavodones

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.