Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows is standing by comments she made last month that the Maine AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed her, responding to a Maine Republican Party claim that the endorsement statements are false.

Bellows spoke in Waterville on Thursday as part of her campaign’s cross-state walking tour.

Maine Republican Party communications director David Sorenson issued a statement Wednesday saying Bellows’ endorsement comment was false, noting that four AFL-CIO unions have independently endorsed her opponent, Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Those unions stayed quiet during an endorsement voice vote at a convention of the Committee on Political Education. Bellows said Thursday that silence implied endorsement.

“No one voted ‘Nay,’ that’s my understanding of it,” she said while crossing the Kennebec County line into Waterville.

The Maine AFL-CIO website points out that “Maine workers unanimously voted to support” Emily Cain, the Democratic nominee for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. But it doesn’t make that distinction with Bellows.

According to AFL-CIO spokesman Matt Schlobohm, the members of the AFL-CIO who supported Collins remained quiet during a voice vote at a convention of the Committee on Political Education, the political arm of the labor federation.

The result was a voice vote in which everyone who participated backed the endorsement of Bellows.

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