Bellows begins walk in Shiretown

10 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Knocking off an incumbent in politics can often be viewed as an uphill battle.
Which is precisely why Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows has decided to embark on a 350-mile “Walk Across Maine” where she will visit 63 communities to promote jobs and the economy as her campaign platform. Bellows kicked off her campaign in Houlton Sunday afternoon at Riverfront Park.

“This is going to be a tough challenge and a long journey,” Bellows said. “It’s an opportunity to demonstrate what our democracy should look like.”
Accompanied by her entourage, which includes a pick-up truck with a camper on back for sleeping and resting, Bellows acknowledged going up against 18-year incumbent Republican Susan Collins, a native of Caribou, will be no easy task.
“We’re never going to out-raise my opponent,” she said. “But we can out-organize Sen. Collins. Today, our elections too frequently become whoever has the most money wins. Our elections have been dominated by big money and politics. And as a result, people feel like their voices don’t matter anymore.”
Bellows has emphasized the importance of connecting with voters, sharing their experiences and not taking them for granted since the beginning of the campaign. She started Sunday’s event with a Google-plus “hangout” at 11:30 a.m. to connect with supporters at kickoff parties across the state and live streamed the press conference into their homes.
A native of Manchester, Bellows is the former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Touting herself as a grass-roots candidate, Bellows said she felt Maine was ready for a change.
“I know Maine voters don’t want to see sweetheart deals for big oil companies,” she said. “They just want to make a living wage to provide for themselves and their families. It’s time for a new approach.”
Following in the footsteps of former Sen. William Cohen, who walked across the state back in 1972, Bellows promised to be accountable to Maine voters.
Bellows said she chose Houlton as the starting point for her walk because she wanted to walk from the Canadian border to the New Hampshire border. She also held a kick-off party in Fort Kent Saturday and also participated in the Maine Potato Blossom Festival parade in Fort Fairfield on Saturday. Had she started her walk in Fort Kent, it would have added another 100 miles to her journey.
On Monday, Bellows and her group were in the Dyer Brook, Island Falls area and by Tuesday evening she was expected to be in Sherman for a barbecue supper with supporters at the Sherman Bandstand. The walk continues through Aug. 12 with a press conference in Kittery.
“A walk like this requires a little bit of luck and a lot of friends,” she said.