Some more details:The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Tuesday that it will back Shenna Bellows, a former executive director of Maine's American Civil Liberties Union, in her race against Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Prior to the DSCC endorsement, political observers questioned why the organization appeared reluctant to endorse Bellows. In a statement, DSCC Chairman Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) praised her progressive record.
“Shenna Bellows has spent her career fighting for the people of Maine and is the type of leader we need in the U.S. Senate," Bennet said. "Shenna is an energetic leader who has fought for women's rights, civil rights, individual freedoms, environmental protections, and an economy that works for everyone. She has the values and vision to always do what's best for Mainers.” - Huffington Post, 3/25/14
Now of course Bellows faces and uphill battle but her support for legalizing marijuana, cracking down on the NSA and expanding Social Security could be big campaign issues that could help her pull off an upset victory:Bellows, according to a DSCC press release, "is the daughter of a carpenter and former head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Bellows has built her campaign around middle class values, work ethic and political courage," the press release stated.
In the last quarter, Bellows outraised Susan Collins with more than 80 percent of her contributions coming from small dollar donors, the DSCC reported.
Collins is the first candidate for U.S. Senate in Maine to qualify for the ballot this cycle, filing the mandatory 2,000 certified signatures by March 17.
Collins for Senator Co-Chairman Merton G. Henry said a strong volunteer effort helped with the early completion of the signature gathering process.
"Volunteers in all 16 counties collected signatures in communities across the state," said Henry. "This process is an early test of our field organization. The fact that the task was completed so quickly, and before we have even opened a campaign office, shows the strength of our volunteer network. We were pleased with the tremendous response and Senator Collins truly appreciates the work that her volunteers put in on this effort."
The campaign noted that Senator Collins recently was named to Elle Magazine's Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Washington. The Elle "global network" includes, according to the magazine website, the world's No. 1 fashion magazine, 44 editions across 60 or more countries and 23 million readers globally. - Portland Daily Sun, 3/25/14
Now Collins doesn't have to worry about serious Tea Party challenger. Erick Bennett (R. ME), who has a record of abusing his wife and threatening to kill her doesn't have a shot and is applying to be a write-in candidate. Now I think Bellows has a shot this time around. She has to make the same argument that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. MA) made that if Maine voters, like all New England voters, want the Democrats to hold onto the U.S. Senate, they need to vote for Bellows. That's why I think Bennet and the DSCC are taking a shot on Bellows. She can guarantee that the Democrats hold onto the Senate. Now I'm elated that the DSCC is on board with Bellows but she's going to need our help as well. Lets get her campaign fueled and give her the resources she needs:"I think there are exciting indicators of success here," Bellows told CNN in a recent interview in Washington.
She sees a Republican Party split between libertarians in the Rand Paul mold and those who felt left out of the last presidential race.
They "really feel like Republicans, including Susan Collins, have lost their way on this idea of smaller government and less government intrusion in peoples' private lives," she said.
Collins is running for her fourth term and is not considered vulnerable heading into November's election. She is viewed as a moderate in Washington where the Republican Party has shifted sharply right in recent years.
She beat Democrat Tom Allen by a nearly 2-1 margin last time around, but faces a primary challenge this year from conservative Erick Bennett.
Still, two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, the Rothenberg Political Report and the Cook Political Report, both as of now consider Collins safe as she bids for re-election.
But Maine is a blue state that supported President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and the only state this year where an incumbent Republican is defending a seat in a Democratic-leaning state.
Bellows, the only Democrat in the race, stakes her campaign on positions opposing government surveillance, and supporting marijuana legalization and more environmental protections.
Environmental politics are important in Maine, which is mostly rural and famous for its scenic rocky seacoast and its woodlands. Tourism is a major industry. - CNN, 3/3/14