EASTPORT – Former Republican Senate President Kevin Raye reported Friday evening raising $102,604 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to support his bid to become the next congressman from Maine’s Second Congressional District.
“Between Oct. 1st and Dec. 31st, Raye raised [more] money from donors than his primary opponent, who has acknowledged giving his own campaign over $100,000 thus far,” the Raye for Congress campaign said via press release.
Raye’s campaign team said the fundraising numbers indicate the “breadth and depth” of his support in the district, noting that 70 percent of his 488 donors have come from the 2nd district.
Mike Leavitt, spokesman for the Raye campaign, did not hesitate to go after Raye’s primary challenger, former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, who has contributed significantly to his own political endeavors, past and present.
“While his opponent has already poured more than $100,000 of his own wealth into his campaign, the vast majority of Kevin’s contributions continue to come from hard-working Mainers in every county of the Second District, where Kevin is well-known and well-liked.”
“Raye’s opponent is a former Wall Street hedge fund manager who recently claimed a residence in Maine’s Second District after unsuccessful primary campaigns for Governor in 2010 and U.S. Senate in 2012,” the campaign said in its press release. “Between those two races, Raye’s opponent spent about a million dollars, much of it his own money.”
In the press release, Raye’s campaign touted a poll conducted in November by Public Opinion Strategies showing Raye leading Poliquin 45 percent to 19 percent among primary voters.
This is not Raye’s first run for Congress in northern Maine. The former staffer to former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe came up short in his 2012 campaign against U.S. Rep Michael Michaud, who has vacated his seat to challenge Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
UPDATE: Matt Hutson, campaign manager for Bruce Poliquin, issued the following response to the Raye campaign’s press release:
“What we have learned from Raye’s press release and numbers today is that he is unprepared to win the general election this fall. Not only does the Raye campaign have dramatically less money left in its accounts from donors, but compared to all funds on hand he significantly trails the Poliquin campaign. After a lifetime working in politics, it is clear from his release that Kevin Raye cannot escape the ways of Washington where political attacks push out substance. Bruce Poliquin has spent his lifetime creating jobs and growing the economy. It is that experience, his common sense conservative values and his strong campaign that will propel him to victory.”