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Sen. Collins' husband speaks out, 6 months after opening potentially dangerous mail

Thomas Daffron told NEWS CENTER Maine that he and his wife, Senator Susan Collins, will not let the scare of a letter addressed to them, claiming to contain ricin, stop them from living their lives.

BANGOR, Maine — What started as a normal October day for Thomas Daffron, the husband of Sen. Susan Collins, quickly turned into one he'd never forget after he opened his mail. 

"A reference to ricin -- and at that point, I thought, 'I probably should talk to law enforcement about this,'" said Daffron. 

On October 15, 2018, a letter addressed to Daffron at he and his wife's Bangor home was delivered to them and claimed to contain ricin. That prompted a response from local police, fire personnel, and even the Capitol Police and the FBI. 

RELATED: Letter delivered to Sen. Collins' Bangor home claimed to contain ricin

"My wife and I really appreciate the assistance and cooperation that we got from law enforcement," said Daffron. 

Another letter claiming to contain anthrax that was addressed to Sen. Collins' home was intercepted by the United States Postal Service. 

One Burlington woman has been charged in connection with one of those threats. 

RELATED: Woman charged with mail threat to Collins home appears in court

Although those threats proved to be false, Daffron says it's still something he's glad law enforcement responded to they way that they did. 

"You have to take something like this seriously. It could've been ricin. And if it was, it could've had tragic consequences."

After he initially opened the letter, Daffron says he and his dog were both quarantined as a precaution to being exposed to toxic chemicals. Even with an experience like that, he and his wife won't let the effects of that day take control over their lives.

"I think I'd look at the mail with more caution, but you have to live your life. We live here. And if you get out to the point where you have to worry about every car driving down the street, or everybody who knocks on your front door, you can't exist like that," said Daffron. 

Daffron has a wealth of political knowledge. He most notablly served as Chief of Staff to former member of Congress Bill Cohen. He knows what it takes to make it in Washington and manage all of the criticism that comes with the job. He believes his wife, a current United States senator, has what it takes. 

"Did it really change the way we operate our lives? I think the answer is no. I just don't think you can function as a public figure if you're scared," said Daffron. 

Daffron and Senator Collins are certainly not living their lives in fear, but they will be hard pressed to forget the threats meant for them from October of 2018.

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