Friday September 13, 2013 | 10:27 AM

 

There's been a fair amount of chatter about which Maine Democrat would take on Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in 2014. Not a lot of chatter, however, because everyone assumes that Collins is once again indestructible. 

But this rumor is interesting: Shenna Bellows, head of the Maine Civil Liberties Union of Maine, is believed to be considering a 2014 bid. Bellows hasn't confirmed this, but she's typically responsive to press inquiries (:::wink, wink, prod, prod::).

Speculation that Bellows would run makes some sense. In 2012 Bellows was one of a gazillion people that briefly considered a bid for the 1st Congressional District when its current occupant, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, was weighing a run at the U.S. Senate seat held by Olympia Snowe. When Pingree decided to stay in the 1st District, Bellows and every other Democrat pulled out (Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, the majority owner of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and MaineToday Media papers.). 

There are a couple of things that make Bellows an intriguing candidate even if she'll have a tough time beating Collins:

1. She's a persuasive advocate for the ACLU of Maine and quick on her feet. Listen to her here debate Republican operative Lance Dutson during the 2011 initiative to restore same-day voter registration. 

2. The libertarian wing of the Republican party seems to like her, or more accurately, they like the policies she's helped promote at the State House. Anyone who has followed legislation the last three years will notice that there's been a convergence of Republicans and Democrats on certain policy initiatives. Marijuana legalization, privacy bill, checks on the power of law enforcement. Bellows has been a leading voice for those initiatives and been able to bring along not just libertarian Republicans, but some moderate ones, too

What does that mean for Collins? We'll see, but it's possible that Bellows' entry could preempt a primary challenge from Collins' right flank -- if that's even a possibility.

A strong showing for Bellows would also bode well for her political future even if she doesn't beat Collins. 

About the Author

Subscribe to the
Capitol Ticker RSS

Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.

Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Subscribe to the
Capitol Ticker RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

More

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.