Scott Ramps Up Spending in Campaign's Final Weeks | Off Message

Scott Ramps Up Spending in Campaign's Final Weeks


Gov. Phil Scott's first television advertisement of his 2018 reelection campaign - SCREENSHOT
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  • Gov. Phil Scott's first television advertisement of his 2018 reelection campaign
Updated Oct. 16, 2018, at 9:17 a.m.

Gov. Phil Scott’s reelection campaign spent $155,261 over the past two weeks, according to a new filing with the Vermont Secretary of State's Office. Of that, $100,000 went to the incumbent Republican's first television advertisement of the campaign, which focuses on his message of civility in politics.

“I believe each of us has a responsibility to be better role models, act appropriately and treat each other with dignity and respect,” Scott says in the direct-to-camera ad.
In the same two-week period, Democratic nominee Christine Hallquist spent $56,873, which included $20,000 worth of online ads. She has yet to run TV advertising.

The latest round of campaign finance filings show both gubernatorial candidates raising similar sums of money in the first half of October. Scott picked up $70,272 in donations from 155 individuals and companies, while Hallquist collected $64,755 from 663 donors. Since the campaign began, Scott has raised $545,454, while Hallquist has raised $439,012.

In recent weeks, Scott has accepted donations from several corporations and special-interest groups, including DEW Construction Corp. ($4,080), Maximus ($2,500), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($2,000), the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association ($2,000) and the Vermont Wholesale Beverage Association ($1,000). Hallquist does not accept corporate contributions.

The Democratic nominee appeared to raise a significant amount of money at an October 9 fundraiser in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Trans United PAC, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Pride Fund to End Gun Violence and other political action committees. Hallquist is the first openly transgender candidate to win a major-party nomination for governor.

A new filing from a Republican Governors Association affiliate shows that the group is reengaging with Vermont's gubernatorial race. Its local PAC, called A Stronger Vermont, spent $70,030 last week on pro-Scott ads on Facebook, Google, Hulu and other online platforms. The RGA had invested $275,000 in Scott's campaign ahead of the August primary but had been quiet since.

In the race for lieutenant governor, incumbent Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman raised $24,480 and spent $9,320 over the past two weeks. Rep. Don Turner (R-Milton), his Republican challenger, raised $31,230 and spent $44,896. Turner, the House minority leader, also got an assist recently from the National Association of Realtors, which spent $54,300 on pro-Turner online ads.