Shenna Bellows has raised more than $1 million in her campaign to unseat Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins, surpassing a symbolic financial threshold for the underdog challenger.

Bellows’ campaign announced Thursday that the Democrat passed the $1 million mark in recent weeks, achieving a goal of hitting that figure before Democrats go to the polls for the June 10 primaries. Both Bellows and Collins are running unopposed in their respective party primaries.

Updated fundraising figures for the Collins campaign were not immediately available Thursday. However, the three-term incumbent had more than $3.6 million remaining in her campaign fund as of March 31 and raised more than $877,000 in the first three months of the year. Candidates for Maine’s congressional seats were required to file updated campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission by Thursday night. Those pre-primary reports will show contributions and spending through May 21st.

Campaign observers have suggested that $1 million threshold is symbolic because it shows that Bellows – a first-time political candidate and former head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine – has the capacity to raise significant sums. The Bellows campaign said the donations came from more than 14,500 individual contributions averaging $68.

“The people of Maine are sending a message, and it is loud and clear: They want a Senator who stands up for working families and progressive values,” Bellows said in a statement. “They’re investing in us because they know that when we get to Washington, we’re going to invest in them.”

Bellows has picked up support from some left-leaning groups, including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and on Thursday gained an endorsement from horror author and Maine native Stephen King, according to an op-ed that King published in the Bangor Daily News.

Collins, meanwhile, recently picked up an endorsement from Maine’s other high-profile King: Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in Washington.

It is unclear, however, whether Bellows’ fundraising success thus far will help her to draw support from other national groups, given the gap between her and Collins in recent polls. Democrats are fighting to retain control of the U.S. Senate this November.

Staff writer Kevin Miller can be reached at (207) 791-6312 or at:

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