Senator Elizabeth Warren Holds Rally in Lewiston in Support of Biden/Harris Campaign

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Daphne Valen/Courtesy Photo

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at a rally hosted by Biden for Maine in Lewiston, Maine.

Christina Leonard, Digital Editor

U.S. Senator and former 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren visited Lewiston, Maine for a small, socially-distanced outdoor rally hosted by Biden for Maine on Saturday. Bates students, alums, and locals were in attendance to hear from Warren and from Biden for Maine who spoke about the importance of voting and volunteering in anticipation of the upcoming election. 

As one of the most populous centers in Maine’s 2nd congressional district, which Trump won in the 2016 election, Warren and Biden for Maine purposefully held their event in Lewiston to reinforce the significance of getting civically engaged in this district in hopes that the Biden/Harris campaign can secure all four of Maine’s electoral votes. 

Although the rally was mainly to promote the Biden/Harris campaign, Warren, alongside the rest of the speakers, made clear that they fully endorse Sara Gideon who is running against Susan Collins for the Maine seat in the U.S. Senate. 

Before Warren took the stage, however, recent Bates grad Julia Panepinto ‘20,  a volunteer on Warren’s campaign and now works as a field organizer for the Maine Democrats, stressed the importance of early voting. “I know it may seem that the election is 24 days away and that voting will happen then, but the reality is people are voting in Maine now, people are voting in Maine every single day. This election could be decided before Nov. 3,” Panepinto said. 

Panepinto concluded by reminding the audience about “the importance of fighting for what you believe you deserve,” to make clear that “we need to fight for Joe Biden and for Sara Gideon because we deserve their leadership.”

Warren, introduced by Panepinto, spoke to the necessity of being politically active right now in order to hold President Donald Trump and his administration accountable. In particular, she pointed to the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and their attempts to repeal Obamacare, which would leave millions of Americans without healthcare including children under their parents’ coverage. “This election is life [or] death,” Warren said. 

In her closing remarks, Warren mentioned how her “heart is filled with hope” for a brighter future thanks to the Biden/Harris campaign, “because when we start with a man in the White House with basic human empathy, who believes in the confidence of government and who doesn’t always put himself first, but, instead, puts other people first, the American people first, then I know we have a chance,” she said. 

Many Bates students were in attendance, including Barratt Dewey ’23 and Daphne Valen ’23, co-Presidents and founders of Bates for Biden. Dewey and Valen thought the event was a huge success. 

“Being there was almost surreal,” Valen said “Hearing from the Maine campaign, students, union members, and, of course, Elizabeth Warren herself was extremely powerful and gave me a lot of hope for Maine in this election.”

Echoing Valen, Dewey also thought the event was really inspiring and hearing Warren speak in Lewiston further “highlighted the fact that while Maine is a small state and often overlooked in the chaos of campaign season, our votes here really do matter.”  

Bates for Biden, which is directly affiliated with the Biden/Harris Campaign, has been hosting virtual and socially-distanced events on campus such as phone and text banks since August with the goal of engaging students in civil discourse. 

Valen believes that getting students politically informed and engaged is crucial right now. 

“We all want to wake up on Nov. 4, no matter the outcome, and know that we did everything we could to fight for the soul of our nation.”