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August 19, 2010

Vermont Governor's Race 2010: Most Expensive ... Ever?

Bigstockphoto_stack_of_cash_4386771 The five Democrats and single Republican running for governor have already eclipsed the amount of money raised in any of the previous races for the state's top job.

The difference is we're not even through the primary, meaning this will easily be the most expensive governor's race in history — even perhaps factoring for inflation.

As I noted in yesterday's review of the recent campaign finance filings, Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie has raised $1,036,675. Comparatively, the five Democrats have raised a total of $1,886,313 million as of August 14.

Combined, the five Democrats and Dubie have raised $2,922,988 with plenty of time left to raise more before the Nov. 2 general election.

A review of campaign finance files from gubernatorial campaigns dating back to 2000 shows that the most expensive campaign to date was the 2002 open seat between then Treasurer Jim Douglas (R), Lt. Gov. Doug Racine (D) and Cornelius "Con" Hogan (I). In that campaign the trio raised a total of $2,262,060, as was reported in their final campaign reports on record as of December 2002.

The next most expensive race was Gov. Howard Dean's fifth, and last, race for governor in 2000. The Democrat faced Republican Ruth Dwyer and Progressive Anthony Pollina. The three raised $2,193,774, although about $267,000 of Dean's money was carried forward from the 1998 race.

The third most expensive race was 2008's, when Gov. Jim Douglas raised a record $1,292,969 in a three-way race with Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington and Progressive Independent Anthony Pollina. In total, the three candidates raised $2,085,695.

These totals do not include any third party expenditures on behalf of candidates by independent political action committees and political parties.

Here's a rundown of the fundraising totals in each of the past gubernatorial races since 2000:


(I) Gov. Howard Dean (D): $742,097, plus $266,718 carried forward, for a total $1,008,815

Ruth Dwyer (R): $884,998

Anthony Pollina (P): $299,961


Jim Douglas (R): $1,156,182

Doug Racine (D): $840,686

Con Hogan (I): $265,192


(I) Gov. Jim Douglas (R): $738,317

Peter Clavelle (D): $530,011


(I) Gov. Jim Douglas (R): $822,262

Scudder Parker (D): $642,844


(I) Gov. Jim Douglas (R): $1,292,969

Gaye Symington (D): $492,765

Anthony Pollina (I): $247,891

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