Lewiston mayoral campaign spending on par with recent election – except 2015

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LEWISTON – The numbers are comparable to those from the recent municipal election, but before the November 2 vote Carl Sheline passed Donna Gillespie by 15 to 1.

According to campaign finance reports filed last week, Sheline both exceeded and spent Gillespie by a considerable margin, but overall spending is in line with the last two municipal elections.

From July 1 to October 19, Sheline raised $ 3,735 in donations and declared a self-funded campaign loan of $ 13,300. For the same period, it reported expenses of $ 15,326, the majority of which was spent on print and digital advertising, campaign posters and direct mail.

In comparison, Gillespie reported cash contributions of $ 671 and expenses of $ 566 for the same period.

However, the fundraising and spending levels reported by Sheline are not outliers among recent Lewiston elections. In 2019, the would-be winner Mark Cayer reported $ 5,365 in contributions and $ 4,556 in expenses during the same pre-election window. His opponent, Tim Lajoie, raised $ 3,586 and spent $ 2,404.

Cayer is not running for re-election this year.

The 2019 race was lukewarm compared to 2015, when Ben Chin raised $ 90,000 in donations, of which only $ 10,000 came from Lewiston. In 2017, when he ran again, he racked up over $ 14,000 from the previous campaign, in addition to raising an additional $ 4,770 and spending $ 10,384 ahead of the election.

In that same race of 2017, Cayer raised $ 9,642 and spent $ 4,283 in the last quarter of the campaign. Shane Bouchard, who ultimately won, self-funded his campaign and reported expenses of $ 4,351.

The most recent financial reports were the 11-day pre-election filing, which will be followed by a 42-day post-election filing due on December 14.

In the pre-election brief, Sheline pointed to contributions from prominent Lewiston-Auburn developer Tom Platz, as well as Peter and Gene Geiger of promotional products company Geiger.

The majority of Gillespie’s contributions come from herself, with the exception of three contributions of $ 50 or less from supporters. It lists campaign signs, direct mail, and a website among the expenses. Of the 15 individual contributions reported to Sheline, two are listed in the $ 50 or less category.

In 2015, during what was a five-man mayoral race, Chin raised $ 63,329 in donations and spent $ 37,380 in the months leading up to the election, compared to $ 1,562 in contributions for incumbent President Robert Macdonald.

While Chin won the most votes on November 3, 2015, that was not enough to achieve the required majority, and a run-off between Chin and Macdonald took place on December 8, 2015.

In the month between the general and special elections, Chin continued to fundraise, ultimately bringing in nearly $ 90,000 over his campaign period, making him the most expensive in Lewiston’s history.

Macdonald won the second round of the 2015 election by more than 500 votes and was elected for his third term.


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