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Sanders becomes first to qualify for Maine's 2020 primary

Sanders becomes first to qualify for Maine's 2020 primary
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver Ocasio-Cortez rolls out Twitch channel to urge voting Calls grow for Democrats to ramp up spending in Texas MORE (I-Vt.) became the first candidate to qualify for the Maine Democratic presidential primary on Monday, his campaign announced in a press release.

The Sanders campaign said Monday that the Vermont senator had submitted 2,800 signatures from supporters in the state, 800 more than the number required for primary ballot access.

"Senator Sanders has unmatched grassroots support making him one of the most competitive candidates not only in Maine, but across the country,” said Maine state Rep. Ben Collings (D), who has endorsed the Sanders campaign. “This volunteer-led effort places Senator Sanders on the ballot faster than any other candidate in the 2020 race, showing the strength of our movement in the Pine Tree State which will propel us to victory on March 3rd.”

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The campaign added in a statement that Sanders has received more than 33,000 individual donations from voters in the state for his 2020 presidential bid.

Sanders has risen in some national polling in recent weeks and remains a top contender for the Democratic nomination, though he trails former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE in most nationwide polls.

A Public Policy Polling survey of Maine in October put Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver Democratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Obama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race MORE (D-Mass.) in the lead in the state by double digits.