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Maine State Senate Candidate Raises Historic Amount

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - A Democratic lawmaker from Maine who has gained national prominence for supporting legalizing marijuana and eliminating superdelegates is flush with money from small, out-of-state donors.

State senate candidate Rep. Diane Russell of Portland raised nearly $87,000 from January through May. The state ethics commission believes it's among the highest amounts ever raised for a Maine legislative primary.

About 60 percent of Russell's donors gave $50 or less, meaning their addresses can remain unreported.

Russell received $6,706 in itemized contributions from donors in California, which like Maine will consider a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana this fall.

At this year's Maine Democratic State Convention, Russell called on the national party to eliminate superdelegates. Russell has faced more than $4,000 in past state campaign finance violations.