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Fundraising records broken in Cain-Poliquin race

With a record-setting fundraising quarter, 2nd District Democratic congressional contender Emily Cain has nearly caught up with her Republican rival.

Cain raised more than $1.1 million in the three months ending Sept. 30, according to a new Federal Election Commission filing.

That’s about $400,000 more than any Maine congressional candidate has raised in a three-month period before, a record previously held by the man Cain hopes to unseat, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Poliquin said he will release his numbers to the FEC on Saturday, but his staff said he continues to be ahead of Cain in overall fundraising.

Cain has raised $2.9 million during the course of the campaign, three-quarters of it from individual donors that include more than 3,500 people in Maine.

Cain’s campaign is also touting her fundraising success for raising more money from Mainers than any previous congressional candidate and being the best-funded House challenger in Maine history.

“I’m deeply proud of the groundbreaking grassroots campaign we have built this year,” Cain said in a prepared statement.

“Working families see their jobs going overseas and they see their congressman serving himself instead of them, and they are angry and worried,” she said. “Maine deserves better than a congressman who’s out of touch and out for himself.”

Poliquin’ campaign has a different take on it.

“Emily Cain, a career politician from New Jersey, is backed by and reliant upon out-of-state, extreme liberal super PACs that are funded by special interests and Wall Street millionaires and billionaires that will say anything – including flat out lying – to mislead Mainers from the truth,” said Michael Byersly, campaign spokesman.

According to Cain’s campaign, she has raised 76 percent of her money from individual donors. Poliquin, as of June 30, had raised almost half of his money from political action committees.

Poliquin plans to release his numbers in the official report due Saturday to the FEC. But his campaign said he’s raised more than $3 million overall, meaning he retains an overall fundraising edge in the race.

The campaign in Maine’s sprawling 2nd Congressional District has been targeted from the outset by both parties. Colby College professor Tony Corrado said that between the candidates and outside groups, the race could top $10 million to $11 million in spending.

OpenSecrets.org reported that Poliquin’s and Cain’s individual fundraising efforts, and independent expenditures made on their behalf, came close to the $7 million mark in their 2014 race.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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