Shenna Bellows

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Shenna Bellows
Shenna Bellows.jpg
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 14th district
Assumed office
December 7, 2016
Preceded byEarle McCormick
Personal details
Shenna Lee Bellows

(1975-03-23) March 23, 1975 (age 43)
Greenfield, Massachusetts,
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Brandon Baldwin (2012–present)
EducationMiddlebury College (BA)

Shenna Lee Bellows (born March 23, 1975) is an American political activist and a former non-profit executive director, best known for her work with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). As of December 2016 she is the State Senator from Maine's 14th District.

Bellows was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Maine, in the 2014 election. She was defeated by incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins.

Early life and education[edit]

Shenna Bellows was born on March 23, 1975, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the eldest daughter of Dexter Bellows, a carpenter, and Janice Colson, a nurse. She grew up in Hancock, Maine, where she attended Hancock Grammar School. Bellows grew up in a struggling family; they did not have running water or electricity, which the family could not afford, until she was in the fifth grade.[1][2]

When Bellows was 15, she was an AFS-USA foreign exchange student in Campos, Brazil. Bellows graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1993. During high school and college, Bellows worked as a research assistant at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.[3] She then attended Middlebury College, graduating magna cum laude in 1997 with highest honors for her thesis on economic and environmental sustainability.[4] During her junior year, she studied for a semester as an exchange student in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Early career[edit]

Bellows served as Executive Director of the ACLU of Maine for eight years. In that role, she built coalitions with both Republicans and Democrats to pass privacy and civil rights laws.[5] She was a leader of Mainers United for Marriage, working for seven years to pass same-sex marriage in Maine.[6] She was a leader on voting rights and co-chaired the 2011 Protect Maine Votes campaign to restore same day voter registration.[7][8] Most recently, she organized a successful privacy campaign to require warrants for access to private cell phone communications, and she led the opposition to warrantless drone surveillance.[9]

During her time at the ACLU, Bellows was a leader in the Maine Choice Coalition and the Coalition for Maine Women.[10] She was recognized for her work to advance women’s health and reproductive choice by awards from the University of Maine Women’s Studies Department,[11] Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center,[12] the American Association of University Women,[13] the Frances Perkins Center[14] and the Maine Democratic Party.

Prior to her work at the ACLU of Maine, Bellows was the national field organizer at the ACLU in Washington, DC, organizing nationwide civil liberties campaigns including opposition to the Patriot Act, where she built broad coalitions that included librarians and gun owners alike.[15]

Bellows was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Nashville, Tennessee. There she assisted a start up non-profit, Community IMPACT! in developing an asset building program to promote educational and economic empowerment for young people in Nashville’s largest public housing project.[16]

Bellows served as a small business development Peace Corps volunteer in La Arena de Chitré, Panama. In Panama, she launched a micro-lending program for artisans, started a Junior Achievement entrepreneurship program at a local high school, and was President of Women In Development/Gender and Development, dedicated to advancing economic and educational opportunity for women and girls.[17]

From 1997 to 1999 Bellows worked as a researcher and recruiter for Economists Incorporated, a privately held economic consulting firm specializing in microeconomic analysis in antitrust, regulatory and legal contexts in Washington, DC.[18]

Political career[edit]

She launched her candidacy for the United States Senate in 2014 on October 23, 2013.[19][20] In November, she was defeated in a landslide, 68.5%-31.5%.

Bellows announced on March 4, 2016 that she would run for the Maine Senate in District 14, including her hometown of Manchester and several communities in the Augusta area. She ran as a publicly financed candidate.[21] She won election to the Maine Senate on November 8, 2016, and took office on December 7, 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Bellows lives with her husband, Brandon Baldwin, in Manchester, Maine.[19]

Electoral history[edit]

Maine Senate District 14 General Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Shenna Bellows 9,125 43.0
Republican Bryan Cutchen 8,071 38.1
Independent Joseph Pietroski 4,008 18.9


Maine Senate District 14 Democratic Primary, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Shenna Bellows 1,947 81.74
Democratic Terry Berry 435 18.26


United States Senate election in Maine, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Susan Collins 413,505 67.0
Democratic Shenna Bellows 190,254 30.8
Other and Blank 13,237 2.2


United States Senate election in Maine Democratic Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Shenna Bellows 47,909 73.6
Other and Blank 17,176 26.4



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Claiborne, James B.; Perry, Erin; Bellows, Shenna; Campbell, Jennifer (1997). "Mechanisms of Acid-Base Excretion Across the Gills of a Marine Fish" (PDF). The Journal of Experimental Zoology. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  4. ^ RandomNonviolence (2013-10-27). "ME-Sen: Shenna Bellows: Great campaign launch against Susan Collins". Daily Kos. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  5. ^ Hench, David (2013-09-27). "Maine ACLU's leader announces resignation". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  6. ^ Ricker, Nok-Noi (2013-09-27). "Maine ACLU leader Shenna Bellows steps down". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  7. ^ Bellows, Shenna (October 15, 2012). "College students: You cannot be denied your vote". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  8. ^ Dolan, Eric (November 9, 2011). "Maine voters restore same-day voter registration". The Raw Story. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  9. ^ Moretto, Mario (October 8, 2013). "Shenna Bellows will run against Susan Collins in 2014". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  10. ^ "Broad Coalition Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade". ACLU of Maine. 2013-01-22. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program". University of Maine. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  12. ^ "Dinner, auction to benefit women's health center". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "AAUW-Maine Photos". AAUW-Maine. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "First Annual Garden Party". Frances Perkins Center. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Mid-Maine Global Forum - Program Announcement: "Challenging U.S. Torture in the Courts and Congress"". REM Community Network. January 13, 2006. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "NASW-Maine Annual Conference" (PDF). NASW Maine. April 8, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  17. ^ Bellows, Shenna (October 24, 2000). "High School Scholarship for Young Girls in Panama". Peace Corps Panama Friends. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "Maine Humanities Council Fall Program". Maine Humanities Council. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  19. ^ a b Russell, Eric (October 9, 2013). "Former ACLU Director Will Challenge Susan Collins". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  20. ^ Fulton, Deirdre (October 24, 2013). "Former ACLU head Shenna Bellows launches US Senate campaign: 'Freedom of the underdog'". The Portland Phoenix. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  21. ^ "Shenna Bellows announces Maine Senate primary run". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  22. ^ The New York Times (November 9, 2016). "Maine 14th District State Senate Results: Shenna Bellows Wins". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Department of the Secretary of State (June 15, 2016). "Tabulations for elections held in 2016". Department of the Secretary of State.
  24. ^ Department of the Secretary of State (November 5, 2014). "Tabulations for elections held in 2014". Department of the Secretary of State.
  25. ^ Department of the Secretary of State (November 5, 2014). "Tabulations for elections held in 2014". Department of the Secretary of State.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Allen
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Maine
(Class 2)

Most recent