MAINE, USA — Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Republican Jay Allen conceded the 1st Congressional District race to Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, giving Pingree the win in her re-election bid with 60 percent of the vote. On Wednesday morning The Associated Press also called the race, with Pingree as the winner.
In a video posted to Facebook, Allen said he spoke with Pingree and congratulated her on her victory.
"Unfortunately the race didn't go in the direction we would have liked," Allen said, "so we will be pulling out of the race at this time."
"I am humbled and grateful that Mainers have entrusted me to represent them once more in Congress," Pingree said in a statement after she was projected the winner and after she says she spoke with Allen. "We have a titanic amount of hard work ahead of us. Congress must act with urgency to send pandemic relief directly to thousands of Mainers and millions of Americans trying to survive the pandemic, defend the Affordable Care Act under dire threat, and combat the climate crisis ravaging our planet. From my seat on the House Appropriations Committee, my number one priority will remain providing more resources to Mainers fighting to survive this crisis and delivering federal funds to our state. Holding this office is a sacred trust and I cannot wait to get started on the work ahead."
Pingree will serve her seventh term in the U.S. House, representing Maine's 1st Congressional District.
It seemed as though Pingree had a clear path to victory in this race, which is, in part, why a lot of attention this election cycle focused on the heated U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, a Democrat. The 2nd Congressional District race between Pingree's Democratic colleague, Rep. Jared Golden and Republican challenger Dale Crafts has also been considered tighter.
Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra congratulated Pingree, saying she's "a strong leader with a positive vision who believes that government works best when it’s working on behalf of the people."
Marra continued, "From fighting for affordable and accessible health care, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and working to secure relief for frontline workers, first responders, small businesses, and everyday Mainers impacted by Trump’s failed pandemic response, Congresswoman Pingree has been a tireless champion for the people of Maine’s First Congressional District. We’re fortunate to have her representing us in Washington for another term.”
Pingree has served as the U.S. Representative for Maine's 1st Congressional District since 2009. Before serving in Congress, Pingree was a Maine State Senator and was the Senate Majority Leader from 1996-2000. She unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2002.
Pingree ran her re-election campaign on a progressive agenda that included protecting the Affordable Care Act and pushing for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and a woman's right to choose.
Allen, a political newcomer, faced tough odds against Pingree but said his vow to protect the values of liberty and freedom at all costs is what led him to take on the challenge.
[Allen defeat quote]