The campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud on Sunday posted an approximately $1 million television ad buy that will begin showing after Labor Day.
The purchase records for the run began posting on Portland's WCSH 6 Sunday afternoon. The records had not yet posted for the other markets, but Lizzy Reinholt, a spokeswoman for the campaign, confirmed that the buy covered Bangor and Presque Isle as well.
The Michaud's buy is the first of the three major candidates and is designed to reserve time during the home stretch of the campaign. The actual ads that will air will change based on the conditions of the race. For example, the campaign would likely swap out a biographical ad if Michaud has to respond to an attack ad.
The same goes for Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler, who could also post buys soon to reserve prime viewing spots. According to the latest campaign finance filings, LePage is in a better position to buy now than Cutler. The independent has raised more than $2 million since January of 2013, but showed $527,000 of cash on hand. LePage's campaign had $917,000, while Michaud had just over a $1 million.
Of course, the ads the candidate campaigns purchase won't be the only ones. The Campaign for Maine, a political action committee supporting Cutler, has already spent over $125,000 in air time for most of May and early June. The group only pulled in a little over $47,000 during the last reporting period and has just over $71,000 in available cash.
Maine Forward, another PAC funded by progressive interests, organized labor and the Democratic Governors Association, has pledged $2 million in TV ads supporting Michaud this fall. Other groups supporting LePage have not yet posted TV buys, but those are likely en route. The Republican Governors Association, which spent over $1 million supporting LePage in 2010, has already funneled $500,000 to its Maine PAC, including $200,000 the last reporting period. The RGA Maine PAC also spent nearly $10,000 in TV ad production during the last reporting period, half for an ad supporting the governor and the other half for an opposition ad against Michaud.