MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter continued to outpace Republican rival Phil Scott in fundraising during the critical period just ahead of Election Day, according to disclosure reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office Friday.
While the outcome of the gubernatorial election remains in question, one thing abundantly clear is that the candidates and their allies had plenty of money to ensure their messages were received by voters.
Minter reported Friday that her campaign raised $446,312 in the 20-day reporting period between Oct. 13 and Nov. 1. She also spent a whopping $459,500 during the same time frame. Her campaign reported having $74,339 cash-on-hand heading into the final days before the polls close on Nov. 8.
Overall, Minter has raised more than $2.16 million and spent more than $1.92 million.
“Thousands of Vermonters are excited about our plans to invest in communities and businesses and support the next generation of Vermonters with investments in early childhood education and two-years tuition free community or technical college,” Minter said in a statement announcing her more recent fundraising haul.
Minter was the beneficiary of an email fundraising plea by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to his millions of supporters following his presidential campaign. Minter also received $4,000 from Friends of Bernie Sanders.
Scott, meanwhile, reported raising about $213,000 and spending more than $318,000. Overall, Scott has raised about $1.528 million and spent $1.57 million. Scott continued to see large contributions from corporations, including $2,000 from GW Plastics in Bethel and $1,000 each from Kingsbury Companies, Munson Earth-Moving Corp., M & M Excavating and ADA Traffic Control. He also received $1,200 from Mazza’s General Store in Colchester, owned by Democratic state Sen. Dick Mazza who is strongly backing Scott.
Disclosure reports filed by outside independent expenditure groups show they have been spending heavily to influence the gubernatorial race. Our Vermont, the Vermont-based super PAC for the Democratic Governors Association that is backing Minter, reported raising $640,000, including $280,000 from the DGA. Three other groups also contributed — American Women gave $160,000; Women Vote! gave $125,000; and the NEA Advocacy Fund gave $75,000. The group spent $642,293, mostly on television ads.
Over the course of the campaign, Our Vermont has raised $1,315,000 and spent $1,311728.
Two other PACs supporting Minter, The Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund IE PAC and the Vermont Conservation Voters Action Fund, also reported significant spending. The Planned Parenthood PAC raised $413,550 and spent $429,311. It’s largest contributor was the DGA, which kicked in $350,000. The Vermont Conservation Voters PAC raised $140,000 and spent $255,112.
A Stronger Vermont, the Republican Governors Association’s Vermont-based PAC, did not have a report filed as of 11 a.m. on Saturday, but mass media reports indicate the group continued to spend heavily during the reporting period. Previous disclosures indicate the group was approaching $3 million in expenditures.
Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman, the lieutenant governor nominee for the Democratic and Progressive Parties, reported raising $78,250 in contributions in the reporting period while spending $65,994. Zuckerman’s strong fundraising is likely due to a mass fundraising appeal sent out by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to the millions of people who supported Sanders’ presidential campaign.
Zuckerman’s report shows a number of small donors, but does include large contributions, including $4,000 from Friends of Bernie Sanders and $1,000 each from AFT Vermont and the Professional Firefighters of Vermont. Zuckerman reported spending more than $20,000 on TV ads.
Brock reported raising $18,245 and spending $49,091. Over the course of the campaign his spending has now reached $178,794 and expenditures total $149,586.
Brock received a $3,000 contribution from Casella Waste Systems and $1,000 from tobacco giant Altria. His disclosure report shows he spent more than $25,000 on television ads and more than $14,000 on radio.
In the race for attorney general, Democrat T.J. Donovan maintained his massive fundraising advantage, but his fundraising slowed since the last reporting period in mid-October. Donovan reported raising about $16,000 and spending $87,294. Over the course of the campaign Donovan has raised $421,159 and spend $268,786.
He took in $4,000 from Every Town for Gun Safety and $1,000 from the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
Donovan’s spending included more than $77,000 for television ads and $1,500 on polling. Donovan’s campaign also gave $2,500 to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.
Republican Deb Bucknam reported raising $27,175, but nearly all of it — $25,000 — came from a loan to her campaign out of her own pocket. Bucknam reported raising just $700 from other donors. She spent heavily in the same time period, reporting expenditures on her disclosure report of $87,756. Her largest expenditures, amounts of $38,000 and $23,000, went toward direct mail postcards to voters. She also reported spending more than $7,000 on consulting fees.
Overall, Bucknam has raised a total of $84,800 and spent a total of $138,822.