Democrat Shenna Bellows raised $433,000 for her U.S. Senate campaign during the first quarter of 2014, which is $100,000 more than during the first several months of her campaign but only half the amount raised by Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
The Bellows campaign said Thursday that the candidate has raised a total of $764,000 so far. It was unclear how much money the Bellows campaign still had in its coffers, however.
Collins, by comparison, had more than $3.6 million in cash available on March 31 – the cutoff date for the latest federal campaign reports – and had raised more than $4.5 million for the campaign cycle.
Bellows is widely considered a long-shot against Collins, a moderate Republican. In Collins’ last re-election campaign, she defeated Democratic Rep. Tom Allen, D-District 1, with 61 percent of the vote. Allen raised more than $660,000 during the first quarter of the 2008 election.
Bellows’ campaign on Thursday said that 93 percent of Bellows’ contributions were $100 or less. Neither campaign has released the complete, detailed campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2014. Those reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15.
“Even having raised three-quarters of a million dollars in total, our average donation this quarter was only $52.53. This is just one of the many contrasts between the corporate campaign that Susan Collins is running and the grassroots nature of our supporters,” Bellows’ campaign manager Katie Mae Simpson said in a statement.
The former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, Bellows surprised many observers by raising $332,000 during the final three months of 2013 after announcing her candidacy in late-October. Even more surprising, Bellows’ raised more money during that period than Collins, a veteran seeking her fourth six-year term in Washington.
Collins has since stepped up her fundraising, collecting more than $877,000 in donations during the first three months of the year.
“It’s clear that the people of Maine appreciate the hard work and common-sense Maine values that Susan Collins brings to the United States Senate,” Lance Dutson, spokesman for the Collins campaign, said in a statement. “The support that she’s received from people from across the political spectrum is remarkable, and we look forward to waging a vigorous, issues-oriented campaign.”