U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree declared victory early Wednesday morning in her bid for a seventh term representing Maine’s 1st Congressional District.

Pingree, 65, a Democrat from North Haven, was winning by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent over Republican challenger Jay Allen with 115 of 156 precincts reporting around midnight.

“I am humbled and grateful that Mainers have entrusted me to represent them once more in Congress,” Pingree said in a statement. “We have a titanic amount of hard work ahead of us. Congress must act with urgency to send the pandemic relief directly to thousands of Mainers and millions of Americans trying to survive the pandemic, defend the Affordable Care Act under dire threat and combat the climate crisis ravaging our planet.

“From my seat on the House Appropriations Committee, my number one priority will remain providing more resources to Mainers fighting to survive this crisis and delivering federal funds to our state. Holding this office is a sacred trust and I cannot wait to get started on the work ahead.”

Allen, 59, a political newcomer, said he conceded the race to Pingree around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. “I said all along that I was the better candidate but that it would be an uphill battle because it’s a strong Democratic district,” Allen said. “We’re disappointed but we’ll carry on and continue to fight for the things we think are important.”

Allen, a physician from Waldoboro, ran a conservative campaign focused on issues such as lower taxes, health care, the Second Amendment and constitutional rights. A supporter of President Trump, he also voiced opposition to mandatory face masks and criticized Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pingree, meanwhile, promised during her campaign to continue working on issues such as local agriculture, climate change and health care if re-elected.

Maine’s 1st Congressional District has been a Democratic stronghold for years, with a Republican only holding the seat for two of the last 34 years. In 2018 Pingree was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

The candidates raised about $500,000 between them in the race, with Pingree pulling in about $430,000 compared to Allen’s $78,000. There was no outside spending, according to campaign finance reports.


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