In their final pre-election campaign finance reports, Republican Gov. Phil Scott continued to outpace Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist. As has been true throughout the campaign, both candidates raised money at a relatively modest pace compared to gubernatorial campaigns in recent years.
Hallquist did raise enough money to underwrite a limited TV ad buy in the closing days of the race — her first foray into television. According to campaign manager Cameron Russell, her ads will feature endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), former vice president Joe Biden and others.
Scott reported raising nearly $127,000 between October 15 and November 2, bringing his fundraising total to $688,521. At the same point in the 2016 campaign, Scott had raised close to $1.5 million.
Hallquist reported financial contributions of $94,049 in the most recent period, bringing her campaign total to $507,451. At the same point in 2016, Democratic candidate Sue Minter had raised slightly less than $2 million.
Scott received large contributions from several corporations and individuals. The big donors included $4,080 from pharmaceutical company Mylan's political action committee. Mylan became embroiled in scandal two years ago after it dramatically raised prices on the EpiPen, a device that can save lives in cases of severe allergic reactions.
Other top-dollar donations came from cable giant Comcast ($4,000); WHS Holdings, a company owned by ski resort operator Win Smith ($4,000); Leslie Morrison of Barnet, owner of Morrison's Custom Feeds ($4,000); Sutherland Realty Holdings, a Florida company ($4,080) and UnitedHealth Group, a managed health care company ($4,000). One of United's subsidiaries is Optum, the health care software firm behind Vermont Health Connect, the health insurance portal that several years ago was at the heart of then-governor Peter Shumlin's health care reform efforts.
Hallquist, as usual, received many gifts from small donors and relatively few from high rollers. Her biggest donors included $4,080 from Tom Steyer, the Silicon Valley billionaire behind a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump; $4,080 apiece from John and Nicole Steele of Stowe, who made news in 2017 when they loaded up a Ryder truck with relief supplies and drove to the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma; and $3,000 from Pennsylvania philanthropist Susan Wallace, an heir to the fortune of Henry Wallace, seed magnate, progressive politician and vice president from 1940 to 1944.