BANGOR – With the November election still six months away, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins already has set aside nearly $2 million for her upcoming race against her Democratic challenger Chellie Pingree.
Pingree, who has raised nearly the same amount, already has spent heavily from her campaign cash.
According to fund-raising records filed with the Federal Election Commission for the pre-primary period ending May 30, Collins has raised more than $2.6 million in contributions to her re-election campaign to date.
During the same period, Pingree raised $1.9 million.
While Pingree has had to use her funds to put a staff in place and mount an advertising campaign against the Republican incumbent, Collins has managed to hoard most of her funds. Collins has $1.9 million in cash on hand, compared to Pingree’s $369,000.
Both candidates continue to attract money at a record rate for a Maine senate campaign.
“We’re very happy with our cash-on-hand advantage,” Collins press secretary Megan Sowards said Friday. “That’s a five-to-one advantage, and we’re very happy with that.”
Pingree’s press secretary Jennifer Sargent said the campaign was pleased with its fund raising. She said the campaign had planned to spend money early to get Pingree’s message out and negate the advantage of incumbency.
She noted that Pingree’s fund raising ranked among the top 10 nationwide for challengers to sitting senators.
“We’re not worried about the difference in our cash on hand. It’s in line with what we’ve planned all along,” Sargent said Friday. “We’ve invested money in the campaign and we’re getting good results.
“This is definitely a very competitive race.”