There are some major news stories coming out of Maine right now; especially from independent Terry Hayes' campaign for governor.
On Monday, the Hayes for Maine campaign announced that independent State Treasurer Terry Hayes became the second independent candidate to qualify for clean elections funding since the law was approved by voters in 1996.
In other words, instead of taking money from special interest groups, corporations, labor unions, and big donors, Hayes is asking supporters to make small donations to the Maine Clean Election Fund so she can qualify for matching state funds.
“I am deeply grateful to the Maine people for the opportunity to run for governor beholden only to them, and not to party leaders, special interests, or wealthy campaign contributors," said Hayes. "As Maine's next governor, I am committed to getting big money out of politics, fixing our broken political system, and choosing people over partisanship."
Hayes announced her clean elections campaign in April 2017. The campaign says that since then more than 2,000 people have donated "seed money" contributions no larger than $100 that have funded her campaign up to this point.
Further, the campaign says more than 3,400 Mainers have made $5 contributions to the Maine Clean Election Fund since October 17, 2017. State law required gubernatorial candidates to collect at least 3,200 qualifying contributions by April 2, at 5 pm ET.
The campaign emphasizes that neither "seed money" nor qualifying contributions came from special interest PACs, labor unions, corporations, or parties.
“Maine people want the opportunity to vote for an experienced, independent, and courageous women to unite and lead Maine in a bold new direction. That’s why they stepped forward in record numbers to make seed and qualifying contributions to our campaign,” added Hayes.
The campaign has unlocked up to $2 million in public funds. Hayes for Maine will receive the first disbursement from the clean elections fund immediately, and will qualify for $175,000 disbursements for each batch of 1,200 qualifying contributions going forward.
This news just comes a week after Hayes qualified for the November ballot by submitting over 6,000 signatures two months before the deadline -- 4,000 more than what was needed.