- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Democratic candidate for governor Mike Michaud raised nearly $440,000 in the latest campaign finance reporting period, outpacing Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who raised $271,000 in their tight race.

Independent candidate Eliot Cutler, who has trailed Michaud and LePage in polls, raised $183,000 in the period, which ran from mid-September to Tuesday.

Of the three candidates, Michaud, a U.S. congressman, also has the most cash on hand, $560,000, according to a filing with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices disclosed on Friday. LePage’s filing showed he had about $361,000 in cash, and Cutler’s showed $136,000.

Michaud’s campaign said he has raised a total to $2.85 million in his bid for the governor’s office, significantly more than LePage’s $1.9 million in his re-election effort.

Cutler, who narrowly lost to LePage in 2010, has loaned his campaign more than $1 million but didn’t loan it any money in this period. He has collected about $2.9 million in contributions and loans to date, his campaign officials said.

“We are pleased with the continued success of our fundraising efforts,” Cutler campaign manager Ted O’Meara said in an email.

The race for the governor’s office has been bitter at times. Accusations flew this week when the candidates met for a televised debate dominated by taxes, energy and the economy.

LePage, vying for a second term, slammed Michaud’s plan for how to improve Maine, saying it sounds “like a recipe for blueberry cobbler” with “no details behind it.”

Michaud blasted LePage for cutting taxes for wealthy residents and accused him of ignoring education in the state budget.

Cutler tried to show he was above partisan bickering, saying Maine residents are tired of politicians who believe their parties are more important than the state.

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