AUGUSTA, Maine - An advocacy group says a higher percentage of Maine candidates are using public funds to run for office.
Maine Citizens for Clean Elections said that 62 percent of candidates are campaigning with public funds, up from 53 percent in 2014.
The nonprofit examined candidates' financial reports and found that candidates have raised 22 percent less private money than at this point in 2014. The group also found that donors giving $50 or less made up less than 7.1 percent of all contributions so far in 2016.
The group's executive director Andrew Bossie said that public funds give more power to Mainers who can't afford big contributions.
Last year, voters approved a ballot question strengthening disclosure requirements for political ads and adding $1 million in funding for Maine's clean elections fund.