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 SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' 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 second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Susan Rice: Trump picks Putin over troops 'even when it comes to the blood of American service members' Does Donald Trump even want a second term? MORE in most nationwide polls.

A Public Policy Polling survey of Maine in October put Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSusan Rice sees stock rise in Biden VP race The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter MORE (D-Mass.) in the lead in the state by double digits.