MONTPELIER — The rich got richer Wednesday as Gov. Peter Shumlin widened his financial edge over Sen. Randy Brock in a gubernatorial race that one political observer says is on the verge of slipping away from the Republican challenger.
According to paperwork filed by the Shumlin campaign, the Democratic incumbent raked in about $160,000 over the last month, bringing his total for the 2012 cycle to nearly $840,000.
Brock for Governor, meanwhile, managed to haul in only $55,000 over the past 30 days for a total this year of $584,000, $300,000 of which came from Brock’s own pocket.
The difference in cash on hand is even starker for Brock, who has spent nearly four times as much as his better-funded opponent. Shumlin for Governor has $769,000 in the bank, compared with about $237,000 for Brock.
“What I was looking for from Randy Brock to make this competitive was to be somewhere in the upper five-figure range, and also to be close to what Peter Shumlin raised,” said Eric Davis, professor emeritus of political science at Middlebury College. “This makes it a very difficult situation. Time is slipping away for Brock. It sounds like he didn’t put any more of his own money into this race, but I don’t think he has many choices left.”
Brock said rumors of his campaign’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
“I’m confident we’re going to have the money it takes to run a credible campaign,” Brock said. “It is August. It is not the first of October, so there’s plenty of time, and we do have money coming in.”
In other statewide races, candidates who posted fundraising leads at the last filing deadline July 15 either increased or maintained their advantages.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott took in nearly $28,000 during the latest 30-day reporting period, for a total of $59,000 for the campaign so far. That gives him a more than four-to-one fundraising edge over the Democrats’ 30-year-old challenger, Cassandra Gekas, who took in close to $8,000 over the past 30 days for about $14,000 to date.
Gekas, who will hold a formal campaign launch today in Burlington, said she has an additional $27,000 or so in pledges and that she expects the war chest to grow at a faster clip after the passage of an Aug. 28 primary that has commanded most of Democrats’ attention this summer.
Gekas said she’ll be bringing on a paid fundraiser next week, which should also help bring in the dollars she’ll need to get her name in front of Vermonters.
In the Democratic primary for attorney general, challenger TJ Donovan widened his fundraising lead over incumbent William Sorrell. Donovan took in $37,000 over the past 30 days, for a total of $166,000 for the cycle. Sorrell took in about $22,000 over the past month, for a total of $115,000.
All told, Donovan has spent $110,000 of his war chest — including $70,000 over the past 30 days — leaving him with about $56,000. That’s almost exactly what Sorrell, who has spent only $57,000, has on hand.
Republican candidate for attorney general Jack McMullen raised nearly $20,000, nearly all of which came from out-of-state donors who contributed the $2,000 maximum.
Republican candidate for treasurer Wendy Wilton managed to out-raise Democratic incumbent Beth Pearce over the past 30 days but still faces a significant financial disadvantage.
Wilton raised about $18,000 over the past four weeks, for a total of $34,000. The approximately $12,000 raised by Pearce brought her total for the cycle to $95,000.
In the race for the open auditor’s seat, Republican Vince Illuzzi added nearly $20,000 to his war chest for a total of $51,000 so far, $25,000 of which came from his own pocket. Democrat Doug Hoffer raised $17,000 this cycle — including $10,000 in the form of a loan from himself — to bring his total to date to about $27,000.
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