- Associated Press - Thursday, February 15, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A critic of public funding for gubernatorial candidates says he has become the first candidate seeking the governor’s office to qualify for state clean elections funds.

Garrett Mason last May voted to support a bill to save $6 million in clean elections funds by removing gubernatorial candidates from eligibility.

The senator is the only Republican candidate seeking public funds to run for governor. He could now receive $400,000 in state funding for his primary race.

The Sun Journal reports that Mason on Wednesday submitted the names of more than 3,200 Mainers who donated $5 to his campaign.

Mason said the clean election route forces candidates to build a wide base of voters through the June primary.

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