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Some Knox County candidates are financing their campaigns with the publicly-funded Maine Clean Election Act money, and others are accepting private contributions.
AUGUSTA — Most local legislative candidates are financing their campaigns with the state publicly-funded Maine Clean Election Act, but others are paying for it through contributions from private individuals and organizations.
Candidates for the state Senate District 12 seat that represents all of Knox County, except the towns of Washington and Isle au Haut, are participating in the Maine Clean Election Act program. Former Democratic state Rep. Anne “Pinny” Beebe-Center of Rockland and Republican Scott Rocknak of Camden, who operates local boatyard and brokerage Rocknak Yacht Sales, are on the ballot and are accepting publicly-funding money.
Beebe-Center has spent $2,803 as of July 26 and her campaign had $51,413 on hand. Rocknak had spent $6,985 and had $20,038 on hand as of July 26.
Maine voters passed the MCEA as a citizen initiative in 1996. Candidates who choose to participate may accept very limited private contributions at the beginning of their campaigns (seed money contributions), according to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. To become eligible, candidates must demonstrate community support through collecting a minimum number of checks or money orders of $5 or more made payable to the Maine Clean Election Fund. After a candidate begins to receive MCEA funds from the state, he or she cannot accept private contributions, and almost all goods and services received must be paid for with MCEA funds.
While the campaigns cannot accept outside money, third party political action committees can promote or attack candidates in ads.
First term Rep. Valli Geiger, D-Rockland, is participating in the Clean Election funding. Her Republican opponent, Roger Tranfaglia of Rockland, is running through what is called traditional financing in which he can accept private contributions. Tranfaglia reported no contributions and no expenses as of June 6. He has not filed a campaign spending report that was due July 26, according to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The two are seeking the District 42 seat that includes Rockland, North Haven, Criehaven, Matinicus Isle, Muscle Ridge Islands and part of the municipality of Owls Head
Geiger’s campaign had spent $900 with $6,054 on hand.
Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, is participating in the Clean Election funding. Her Republican challenger, Susan Butterworth of Camden is participating in traditional private funding. In Butterworth’s July 26 filing, her campaign has received $2,320 in contributions and spent $697. The biggest contributor to her campaign is the Knox County Republican Committee which has donated $425, according to the state elections agency. Butterworth has also received $250 from Paul Ackerman of Tenants Harbor and $200 each from Dana Barnest of Camden, Leigh Ann Sheeley of Southwest Harbor, and Kristin Bifulco of Camden.
Doudera’s campaign had spent $4,302 and had $13,722 on hand. Butterworth’s campaign had spent $698 and had $1,622 on hand.
Rep. Ann Matlack, D-St. George, is participating in the Clean Election funding program. Her Republican challenger Hannah Anne Sprague of Cushing is accepting private donations. Sprague has received $4,040 in contributions and spent $2,070. Her top contributors are state Representative candidate John Linnehan of Ellsworth, the Knox County Republican Committee, and Doug Fales of Cushing who have each donated $425, Jonathan Robishaw $400, Ackerman $250, and Diane Laing of Searsmont, $100.
Matlack and Sprague are seeking the District 43 seat that represents Cushing, Thomaston, South Thomaston, St George and the remainder of Owls Head.

Matlack’s campaign had spent $116 and had $5,909 on hand. Sprague’s campaign had spent $2,070 and had $1,970 on hand.
Rep. William Pluecker, independent of Warren, is participating in the Clean Election program. His Republican challenger Crystal Lynn Robinson of Hope is accepting private money. Robinson has raised $11,213 and spent $4,970. Robinson’s top campaign donors are the Knox County Republican Committee, the Dinner Table Political Action Committee of Richmond, Paula Sutton, Molly Luce of Hope, Sandra Atwood of South Thomaston, William Atwood, and Eric Urbahnv of Cushing at $425 each, Michael Mullins of Rockland at $400, and Nicole Kalloch of Rockland at $100. The Dinner Table PAC opposes vaccine mandates for health care workers and mask mandates.
House District 44 represents Warren, Union, and Hope.
Pluecker’s campaign had spent $1,865 and had $6,347 on hand. Robinson’s campaign had spent $4,970 and had $6,243 on hand.
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