The 14 candidates to become Maine’s chief executive have collectively spent or directed at least $1 million into the pockets of other candidates, party committees, political action groups or their own campaigns before pursuing the state’s highest office, according to a Bangor Daily News analysis of campaign finance data.

Much of the spending came from seven of the candidates, who raised and funneled hundreds of thousands into the political process as they ascended to leadership positions in Augusta. Six of them operated political action committees that can spend directly on election-related activities, including travel, food, signs and office equipment.

The histories of political contributions separate the long-time Augusta operators from the relative newcomers who hope to win the Blaine House. They also reveal sometimes surprising shifts in political leanings and, in some cases, contradict candidates’ current stance on issues.

We asked the candidates to review those contributions and respond to specific questions about them, documented in a three-part series, focused on Republican candidates, Democratic candidates and unenrolled candidates.

[Read the full series here]

In the following interactives, you can explore the past contributions from the candidates and access the raw data we culled from campaign finance reports maintained by federal, state and nonprofit sources.

Explore the contribution histories in the graphics below and access the full data sets backing our reporting on Github, including searchable files for Democrats, Republicans and unenrolled candidates.

Overall contributions

Who they supported

Donation histories

Use the dropdown menu to switch parties.

Where they got that PAC cash

Use the dropdown menu to switch parties.

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Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.