Maine GOP’s young guns lead state candidates in fundraising

Republican Senate Candidate Eric Brakey

Two young guns in the Maine Republican Party are leading candidates for the state legislature in fundraising, according to the most recent financial disclosures.

Incumbent Sen. Garrett P. Mason (R-Androscoggin) and first-time candidate for state senate Eric L. Brakey of Auburn are the top fundraisers statewide, having raised $21,300 and $32,800, respectively, according to campaign finance data.

“Our strong fundraising is a direct result of the incredible grassroots support for our campaign,” said Brakey.

“Maine people know the career politicians made this mess, and they are ready for bold, new leadership to clean it up,” he said.

Brakey, 25, is running for election to Senate District 20, which includes Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls. His campaign has been endorsed by former Texas congressman, Republican presidential candidate and libertarian firebrand Ron Paul.

Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Androscoggin
Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Androscoggin

Mason, 29, is running for reelection to Senate District 22, which now includes Durham, Greene, Leeds, Lisbon, Sabattus, Turner, Wales, Litchfield and Wayne.

“I’ve proven that in the state legislature you need a grassroots campaign to get things done,” said Mason. “We’re doing well, but of course we have a long ways to go,” he said.

“We also know that the Democrats have limitless pockets,” he said, in reference to anticipated outside spending on his opponents’ behalf.

Brakey, the former head of the libertarian Defense of Liberty PAC, will face off this November against incumbent Democratic Sen. John Cleveland, while Mason will face newcomer Democrat Guy Desjardins.

Desjardins is running as a taxpayer-funded candidate. He has raised a little more than $1,000 in seed contributions and has received $1,791.73 in taxpayer money for his campaign. Cleveland is also running with taxpayer money. According to campaign finance records, he has raised $1,500 in seed money contributions and received $1,831 in taxpayer money.

To put Brakey and Mason’s fundraising numbers in perspective, it’s helpful to look at what other traditionally funded senate candidates have raised so far. Here’s a snap shot:

  • Paula G. Sutton, Republican candidate for Senate District 12, reports raising $12,015.
  • Theodore S. Koffman, Democratic candidate for Senate District 7, reports raising $11,410.
  • Anna D. Blodgett, a Democratic candidate for Senate District 15, reports raising no money.
  • David T. Call, a Republican candidate for Senate District 26, repotrs raising $2,057.42.
  • Incumbent Sen. Andre E. Cushing, running for reelection in Senate District 10, has raised more than $3,700,
  • Joanna F. Dunlap, a Democratic candidate for Senate District 17, $20 ($320 if you include her own donations).
  • Patricia J. Gagne, Republican candidate for Senate District 21, reports raising $8913.
  • Craig J. Heavey, Democratic candidate for Senate District 3, reports no fundraising.
  • Cary M. Weston, Republican candidate for Senate District 9, reports raising $12,150.
  • Louis T. Sigel, Democratic candidate for Senate District 14, reports raising $730.
  • Sen. Doug Thomas and Rep. Paul Davis, two GOP candidates for Senate District 4, have raised, respectively, $16,086 and $12,182.


  1. In some religions it is an insult for such youngsters to step up to a public rostrum … not having yet reached maturity.

    Young Guns?

    Me thinks, “Young’uns” is more the fit.

    The State forum is not a playground … not a place to meet and greet … it is the place that husbands, wives and children send their experienced elders to participate in the great debates … the appportioning of limited resources … the sharing of such things in order to meet economic needs of families … to meet the health needs of the needy … to be fair and merciful … empathetic.

    Garret Mason has proven he does not have that experience nor that capacity in Augusta … destableizing the gaming market … delaying and losing 100 million in gaming revenue for the People of the State of Maine with his immature antics as a part-time participant on the important Gaming Commission … unknowing of basic parliamentary procedures … puppet of the casino lobby … some of his most loyal campaign funders, you can be sure.

    The recently released gaming study, that Mason must have been taken completely by surprise in reading its findings, has completely exposed how out of step he was and is regarding the gaming expansion potential in Maine, even though all of the gaming industry exports had repeatedly said so … massive revenues will result with immediate gaming expansion … and that was true years ago.

    And the casino funding Mason’s campaign to nowhere knew it and played him all the way to two full years of unobstructed profits for their out-of-state gaming conglomerates … Churchill Downs and Penn Gaming National.

    Don’t send this dangerous kid back to Augusta. Please … we can’t afford it. Mainers need the expansion of businesses, including gaming operations, and the resulting jobs and money to fund expanded healthcare for nearly a hundred thousand more Mainers and a further billion dollars in multipliers … the resulting economic activity .. as a result of such businesses being immediately established and operating.

    Where is the free racetrack promised by the out-of-state casino supporters of our young Garrett Mason? Where does the majority of profits go from the existing casinos? It isn’t kept in Maine, to be sure.

    Instead, it’ll fund competing casinos near western Massachusettes and in Plainfield, just south of Boston. Both of these new, 800 million casinos are sure to canabalize existing revenues to the Maine General fund from Oxford and Hollywood Casinos. But, Mason is either unaware of this fact, or is concealing it in order to get all he can by way of campaign funding from these same special interests … interests that are financially inimical to that of Mainers.

    There is no “tremendous grass roots support” for either of these people. In my experience and observation of young Mr. Mason, he wouldn’t deserve it if it did exist.


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