Mazer leads Portland City Council candidates in fundraising

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With three weeks until Election Day, the eight candidates for Portland City Council have collectively reported more than $40,000 in campaign contributions.

According to the candidate finance reports that were due by Sept. 21, 42 days ahead of the election, at-large candidate and current Planning Board Chairman Brandon Mazer led his opponents in fundraising by a wide margin. He had raised nearly $10,000.

Brandon Mazer leads all Portland City Council candidates in campaign fundraising. (Courtesy Perkins Thompson)

Mazer’s fundraising advantage is also coupled with two major endorsements. Mayor Kate Snyder and City Councilor Tae Chong both endorsed Mazer for the at-large seat now held by long-time Councilor Nick Mavodones, who decided not to seek reelection.

The size of contributions to Mazer’s campaign ranged from $20 to several $500 contributions. He received donations from Troiano Waste Services of South Portland, Freeport-based Trimm Properties, Maine Department of Veterans Affairs nurse Cynthia Bartlett, Gordon Hurtubise of Cape Elizabeth, George Campbell of Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure, the Commercial Street Pub, developer Nathan Bateman, and others.

The next closest fundraiser in the at-large race was 2019 mayoral candidate Travis Curran, who raised $5,355. Curran’s campaign treasurer is Charter Commissioner Ryan Lizanecz.

Curran’s largest donations were $500 from Sasha Joseph of Capitola, California, and from Kate Sykes, a board member of the progressive group Swing Hard Turn Left, which is tied to former Mayor Ethan Strimling. Curran also gave just under $2,500 to his own campaign to pay for campaign signs.

Third behind Curran was attorney and former Cheverus High School history teacher Stuart Tisdale, who raised $4,320. All but $320 of the contributions to Tisdale’s campaign were from his own pocket.

Current School Board member and former School Board Chair Roberto Rodriguez is the fourth at-large candidate; he raised just over $3,600. His treasurer is attorney Benjamin Grant, a well-known name in local Democratic politics, and a former candidate for the Legislature and Charter Commission.

Most of Rodriguez’s contributions are around $100 or less, with a few reaching the $200 mark. Several were from School Board members, and his largest donation was $208 from developer Jonathan Culley.

Campaign fundraising for the contest in District 1 was nearly tied between the two candidates.

School Board member and former School Board Chair Anna Trevorrow had a slight edge, having raised $4,755 versus $4,500 for her opponent, Bayside Neighborhood Association President Sarah Michniewicz. The District 1 seat is open after Councilor Belinda Ray decided not to seek reelection.

The largest contributions to Trevorrow’s campaign were $500 from former state Senate President Justin Alfond, $500 from Justin Hathaway of Kennebunkport, and $500 from Jay Norris of Portland.

Michniewicz’s largest contributors were $500 from Ray and $500 from Julia Irace of Portland.

The race in District 2, where former City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau resigned in late September to take a job in the U.S. Department of Energy, had a more pronounced fundraising gap.

Former state representative and at-large City Councilor John Hinck raised $5,115. His opponent, Victoria Pelletier, raised $2,980. Thibodeau has endorsed Hinck.

All of Hinck’s donations came in the form of contributions of $100 or more, though most were exactly $100. The largest was $585 from developer and philanthropist Cyrus Hagge, and $500 each from former Mayor James Cohen, Justin Alfond, and Rachel Alfond.

Pelletier’s contributions were mostly $100 or less. She had one $400 donation from Dustin Ward, a racial equity and reconciliation advocate and founder of It is Time LLC.

In addition to the candidates’ reports, the political action committee Smaller Shelters for Portland – which opposes the city’s planned 208-bed homeless services center at 654 Riverside St. with a referendum question to, among other things, limit the size of new shelters to 50 beds – disclosed having raised more than $2,670 in cash contributions.

That included a $1,000 donation from Terrace Pond LLC, a property management group with apartments at 723 Riverside St.

The next campaign finance reports are due Oct. 22.