Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race, will make a campaign appearance in Portland next month.

Clinton’s campaign announced Wednesday that the former first lady, U.S. senator and U.S. secretary of state will host a grassroots organizational meeting on Sept. 18. She will also attend a fundraising event.

The times and specific locations for the events were not released, and there was no mention of any public events.

Clinton will use the visit to rally supporters and help build organizational support heading into what is expected to be a busy campaign season, a campaign official said.

Party caucuses and primaries begin early next year. Maine’s Democratic caucus will be held in March.

Clinton, who lost in the 2008 Democratic primary to Barack Obama, announced in April that she would seek her party’s nomination for president in 2016.

Although polls have her in the lead for her party’s nomination, Clinton will be challenged by at least four other Democrats – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb, a former U.S. senator from Virginia.

Other Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have been rumored as possible candidates.

Sanders drew a capacity crowd to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland during a campaign appearance last month. None of the other Democratic candidates have made appearances in Maine since announcing, although most have spent time in New Hampshire, which hosts the first primary.

A poll released this week by Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald showed Sanders with 44 percent support in New Hampshire. Clinton had 37 percent in that survey, but the 7-point gap was within the margin of error. A similar poll conducted in March showed Sanders with just 8 percent support.

National polls, though, have consistently showed Clinton leading the pack by a considerable margin.

A recent poll in Iowa, the first caucus state, conducted by Public Policy Polling, had Clinton leading Sanders by 52 percent to 25 percent.

Clinton also leads all Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups, according to recent polls by both Public Policy Polling and McClatchy/Marist College.

How much time Clinton – or any other candidate – spends in Maine during the presidential campaign will depend on several factors.

The state carries just four electoral votes and historically has not been a swing state in presidential races. The last time a majority of Maine voters picked a Republican was 1988, when George H.W. Bush was elected.

Clinton last visited Maine in October 2014 to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud. She also made campaign stops in Maine during her 2008 presidential primary.

Since she declared her candidacy, Clinton’s campaign has raised $38,172 from Maine donors from April 1 to June 30, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Among the largest donors were Bonnie Porta, treasurer for Michaud’s campaign and a longtime fundraiser for Democratic candidates, who gave the individual maximum of $2,700; Karen Mills, former U.S. Small Business Administration administrator, who donated $2,600; and Donato Tramuto, a health care executive and philanthropist who gave $2,700.

Despite her front-runner status, Clinton continues to be dogged by an ongoing inquiry into emails she sent and received while secretary of state.

On Tuesday, Clinton’s attorney turned over to the FBI the private server that stored her emails during the four years she led the State Department, several major media outlets reported.

Some in Washington, including many Republicans and presidential hopefuls, have criticized Clinton for creating a private email system and potentially putting U.S. intelligence at risk.

Although the FBI is conducting an inquiry into whether classified material was handled properly, officials have said Clinton is not a target.


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