Shenna Bellows

Shenna Bellows at Scarborough High School- Oct. 25, 2014

Shenna Bellows
October 25, 2014— Scarborough, Maine
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Wow, I think all of you are as excited as I am about seeing Hillary Clinton tonight. My campaign is a woman-led campaign. My campaign manager, Cammie May Simpson, is the mother of a three-year-old and a one-year-old. And her three-year-old daughter went around today saying "Hiwawy Cwinton" and shouting it all day long.

Hillary Clinton is such a role model for women and girls, and it is such an honor to be here, to be back in Scarborough to welcome her here tonight, and to stand up in support of Mike Michaud, who will be the best advocate for women and girls that we can have as governor of Maine.

My name is Shenna Bellows, and I am running for the United States Senate, because working people deserve a voice in Washington again. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the day I announced my candidacy for the United States Senate. Since then, I've travelled all across the state. I walked over 350 miles, from Houlton to Cary.

I met with voters and we talked about the need for people in Washington for a senator, who will be the change we need to make America work for working Americans, once again. You see, I grew up in Hancock, just outside of Elsworth, the daughter of a carpenter, and a home healthcare nurse. And we struggled when I was a kid. I grew up without electricity or running water, until I was in the 5th grade.

But I worked hard, through my entire career, from the Peace Corps, to the AmeriCorps, to the Maine Civil Liberties Union. I sought to make the world a better place, in the tradition of Hillary, and Mike, and Shelly and so many other great leaders.

Because you see, I'm concerned about the future. This election is about the future. Americans need a future that fulfills the promise of freedom, security, and opportunity for all. This is especially true for women and families. In these difficult economic times, more women than ever and the sole breadwinner, and the issues we're talking about in this election, raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare, equal pay for equal work, are especially critical for women.

My race is the only race in the country where a woman candidate is challenging a woman incumbent. Every election people say, we need more women in elected office, and that is true. What they don't say, is that we need more women in Washington, who will do the right thing, for women. As head of the ACLU of Maine, I was a leader in the Maine Choice Coalition, and the Coalition of Maine Women, to fight for Women's reproductive freedom and equality. I will always do the right thing for women.

In contrast, Republican Susan Collins has voted time and time again against raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, against the paycheck fairness act. Against funding for reproductive healthcare. She voted for Supreme Court justices, Samuel Alito and John Roberts. They brought us Citizen United and Hobby Lobby, the case that would allow employers to deny female workers access to birth control coverage.

Time and time again, when it really mattered, Susan Collins voted with her Washington colleagues to deny women economic security and reproductive freedom, which we need to care for our families, to control our lives and fulfill our greatest potential as American citizens. But this election is bigger than the differences between me and Susan's Collins or her votes in the last 18 years. This election, if Maine were to re-elect Susan Collins that could put republicans in control of the US Senate. We've seen here in Maine the damage that can be done, and has been done with republicans and Governor LePage in charge. We cannot risk that federally. America is at its core a promise. It's a promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can achieve your greatest potential and your greatest dreams. America is a promise that everyone will be treated equally, and given a fair shot. It's a promise that no one's life, liberty or pursuit of happiness, is worth any more than anyone else's.

Republicans both here in Maine and down in Washington have done their utmost in recent years, to snatch that dream from every day Americans. They've spent billions of dollars on overseas wars, instead of investing here at home. They've attacked our citizens voting rights. They've attacked women's healthcare and committed the wealthiest among us, to get away with paying less than their fair share. It's not that Republicans have changed, what the promise of America is, so much that they've changed who the promise of America is for.

This November 4th, we have a chance to restore that promise to families like yours and mine. I worked closely with Emily Cain, and Jim Boyle, and Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud over the last 8 years. I remember early in my career at the Maine Civil Liberties Union, a meeting with Mike Michaud and Sarah Standiford who works with Planned Parenthood. We talked to him about issues affecting women and girls. And he listened. Then his staff would follow up before votes that would impact women and girls. That's who Mike Michaud is. Someone who listens, someone who respects, and someone who will stand up for our families.

We can restore freedom, fairness and a promise to prosperity for Maine families by voting the entire democratic ticket, in just 11 days. I ask for your vote. That's my path to victory. If we win the votes of every person in this room who voted for Barack Obama in the last election, and all of the Barack Obama voters, all across Maine, I will be your next United State Senator.

So I have a challenge to you. I ask for your vote, I ask for your vote for Jim, and Chellie and in the 2nd district, Emily, and for Mike. But I ask you to do one more thing, go talk to 5 friends and neighbors. Talk about the stakes in this race. Talk about why Mike Michaud is the best future governor of the state of Maine. With your help, if each one of us works our very hardest over the next 11 days, together we can restore the American promise, taught to all families, to secure a brighter future for our daughters and our granddaughters. Thank you so very much.

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