Sue Minter Laps Phil Scott In Final Fundraising Period | Off Message

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Sue Minter Laps Phil Scott In Final Fundraising Period


Sue Minter, Phil Scott and Bill Lee at a Vermont Public Radio debate Thursday in Colchester - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Sue Minter, Phil Scott and Bill Lee at a Vermont Public Radio debate Thursday in Colchester
Updated at 11:55 p.m.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter raised more than twice as much as her Republican rival, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, in the final fundraising period of Vermont’s 2016 election.

According to disclosures filed Friday with the Secretary of State’s Office, Minter collected more than $446,000 in direct donations and in-kind contributions during a 20-day stretch ending November 2. In that same period, Scott raised just shy of $213,000.

That brings Minter’s total fundraising haul this campaign to $2.16 million and Scott’s to $1.53 million. With just days remaining before the November 8 election, Minter’s campaign said it had $74,339 left in the bank, while Scott’s reported $11,687.

A third candidate, Liberty Union nominee Bill Lee, has reported no fundraising activity this cycle.

Both major-party candidates have been on a spending spree of late. The Minter campaign dropped nearly $460,000 during the most recent 20-day period — $366,000 of which went to mass media, such as television commercials, mailers and print advertisements. Scott’s campaign doled out $318,000 in that time, including $245,000 on mass media.

Those figures account for only a portion of the spending on this year’s gubernatorial election, which has been dominated by out-of-state party committees and interest groups.

Our Vermont — a pro-Minter super PAC funded by the Democratic Governors Association, EMILY’s List and the National Education Association — spent more than $642,000 in the most recent fundraising period, according to its latest filing. The group has dropped $1.3 million since it entered the race in September. Another super PAC, the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, has spent $434,000 supporting Minter, while the Vermont Conservation Voters Action Fund has spent $298,000.

A pro-Scott super PAC funded entirely by the Republican Governors Association, called A Stronger Vermont, had not yet filed its latest disclosure by this writing. But previous filings suggest that it has spent in excess of $2.8 million supporting the lieutenant governor’s campaign.

Both Minter and Sen. David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden), the Democratic and Progressive nominee for lieutenant governor, appear to have benefited from a fundraising email that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent to his national donor list on their behalf last month. While it’s impossible to discern just how much the Sanders email brought in, the two candidates for state office reported a huge uptick in small contributions in their most recent reports.

During the 20-day period, 7,212 people contributed to Minter’s campaign, while only 635 gave to Scott’s, according to the filings. Zuckerman claimed 6,042 contributors in that time, while Brock counted just 125.

Overall, Zuckerman outraised Brock nearly 4-to-1 in the final weeks of the race. The Democrat and Progressive reported $78,250 in contributions since mid-October, while the Republican collected $18,245. Since their campaigns began last year, Zuckerman has raised $344,000 and Brock $179,000.

Further down the ballot, Democrat T.J. Donovan has raised a total of $421,000 in his quest to succeed retiring Attorney General Bill Sorrell as the state’s top law enforcement officer. Donovan’s opponent, Republican Deb Bucknam, has taken in just $85,000 — and $45,000 of that came in the form of personal loans from the candidate herself.

This post will be updated.