PORTLAND — Former State Sen. Ethan Strimling has raised nearly twice as much money as any other candidate in the campaign to become the city’s first popularly elected mayor in 88 years.
According to pre-election reports filed Friday, Strimling raised more than $83,000 from more than 400 donors, including the spurned developer of the Maine State Pier, Ocean Properties.
City Councilor and Mayor Nicholas Mavodones Jr. raised nearly $46,000 from more than 300 donors. Former State Sen. Michael Brennan raised a little more than $41,000 from more than 200 donors, plus nearly $4,000 in contributions under $50.
The pre-election reports are the first formal fundraising filings by the candidates, covering their activity from the beginning of their campaigns through Oct. 25.
Candidates will have to file additional reports if they make single expenditures of more than $1,000 before Election Day. Otherwise, the next reports are not due until Dec. 20, 42 days after the election.
As significant as the amounts the candidates have raised is how much they have left.
Despite more than $8,000 in unpaid debts, Strimling had nearly $27,000 in his coffers with less than two week left in the campaign. And that’s after spending more than $10,000 on direct mail.
“We far exceeded our fundraising goals,” Strimling said in a prepared statement. “And I believe it shows that our message of new leadership, job creation and lower property taxes is what is most important to the people of Portland.”
Strimling’s fundraising includes maximum donations of $350 from the Baldacci Group, Elizabeth Baldacci of Baldacci Enterprises, Stephanie Clifford of Baldacci Communications and attorney Joseph Baldacci. Developer Tim Soley donated the maximum both personally and on behalf of his business, East Brown Cow, and South Portland developers and business owners Louis Maietta, Vincent Maietta and Charlene Maietta also each contributed the maximum amount.
Strimling’s campaign on Monday also announced he received the endorsement of former state Rep. John Eder, a Green-Independent who is also in the mayoral race.
Eder is not dropping out of the race. But ranked-choice voting encourages voters to list the 15 candidates in order of preference; Eder asked his supporters to rank Strimling second.
Eder said in a prepared statement that his chances of winning the election are slim.
“I know I am a long shot to win this race, but Ethan is not,” he said. “In fact, he is our best shot at bringing new leadership and new ideas to City Hall. Yesterday’s solutions just won’t work anymore. Ethan has run a great campaign and has clearly built the broadest coalition of any candidate. That coalition will be essential as we begin to get Portland back on track.”
Strimling said in a statement that if elected he would consider acting on Eder’s calls for a tax break for construction of affordable housing and implementation of affordable health care.
Mavodones had nearly $13,500 in campaign funds remaining with no outstanding debts as of Oct. 25. And Brennan had $14,300, even after spending more than $14,000 on direct mail.
Mavodones, however, said in a statement that it will be doorstep conversations that will matter most.
“Three weeks ago, I challenged my supporters to contact 10,260 voters by the end of October,” he said. “Because of their generous support of time and money, we have surpassed that goal, reaching out to more than 12,000 people in 20 days. It’s these one-on-one conversations about Portland’s future that will put us over the top on Election Day.”
Jed Rathband raised a little more than $27,500 and had nearly $8,600 left. Rathband also has a Political Action Committee, The Portland Committee on Economic Development, working for his campaign. It has spent $11,200 on his behalf.
The PAC is led by Daniel Pepice, an art gallery owner who splits time between Portland and New York, and developer Drew Swenson, whose Riverwalk LLC built the Ocean Gateway parking garage. Pepice said other members include attorney Tom Federle, real estate broker Jim Brady and public relations consultant Frank Gallagher.
Meanwhile, Ralph Carmona, who has lived in Portland for about a year, raised more than $13,000, but mostly from out-of-state donors. Thirty-two of his 50 contributors are from his former home state of California. His contributions include a $1,000 personal loan. He had about $1,300 left as of Oct. 25.
Markos Miller raised $7,500, with more than $2,600 remaining as of Oct. 25, although he has $1,800 in unpaid bills for direct mail pieces. His contributors include City Councilors John Anton and Kevin Donoghue, who contributed $350 and $250, respectively.
Other candidates, their fundraising totals and balances (as of Oct. 25) are:
• Jodie Lapchick: $3,246 raised, $10.90 as of Oct. 25;
• Hamza Haadoow: $2,837, $554;
• Richard Dodge: $1,985, $525;
• Charles Bragdon: $1,135, $0;
• Eder: $775, 1 cent.
• Peter Bryant: $0, spent $2,468.
PORTLAND — The race for the District 4 seat on the City Council isn’t generating a lot of interest, at least in terms of money.
Ezekiele Callanan has only raised $375 from six donors in his bid to unseat incumbent City Councilor Cheryl Leeman, who is completing her 27th year on the council.
Callanan reports his campaign received $425 in in-kind-contributions and another $650 was loaned to his campaign. He had $350 on hand as of Oct. 25.
Leeman, meanwhile, raised more than $4,000 from about 50 donors, which is more money than half of the city’s mayoral candidates have raised. She reportedly still has more than $4,800 on-hand.
— Randy Billings