The left-wing Soros funded has jumped head first into the Senate race to replace Olympis Snowe who announced last week that she would not be seeking re-election in November.

Dear MoveOn member,

Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe announced this week that she is abruptly abandoning her reelection bid.1

This is huge! It significantly improves Democrats’ chances of holding on to the Senate this fall. Even better, it’s a tremendous opportunity to send a progressive champion to the Senate—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. 2012 can truly can be the year of the strong progressive woman with Chellie joining Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin to run for the Senate.

Why should we be excited about Chellie? Quite simply, she kicks butt like few people in Washington do. Since being elected to Congress with MoveOn members’ support, she has organized other members of Congress to fight for a health care public option and to defend the Clean Air Act.2 Before that she was the director of Common Cause, a leading group working to get big money out of politics.3

A number of candidates may run, but Chellie would be by far the best: think Elizabeth Warren or Paul Wellstone. She’s leaning yes but has only a few days to decide.

We need to demonstrate right now that Chellie is the clear progressive choice for Maine and that MoveOn members will have her back. The best way to do that is to pledge to give Chellie whatever you can afford to support her campaign, so we can make her the instant front-runner in the race.

We’ve set an ambitious goal of gathering $200,000 in pledges for Chellie Pingree in 48 hours. You don’t have to enter your credit card info. Just click on an amount below to pledge:

Pledge $25

Pledge $50

Pledge $100

Pledge $250

Pledge another amount

Here’s how it will work: You tell us how much you’d give. Then we let Chellie, the press, and all of the other candidates who are considering running know how much MoveOn members have pledged to give to her campaign.

All of the potential challengers, including leading Republicans, are carefully watching how much support Chellie is getting from progressives like you. And if we all rally to her side right now, they may decide not to run.

In just the past couple days, Maine MoveOn members have helped build great momentum for Chellie’s candidacy. Chellie told The Huffington Post:

“We’ve gotten so many emails, calls, people offering to volunteer. I think MoveOn delivered 2,000 petitions to our office in Maine saying, ‘Please run.’ Clearly there’s already a ton of focus on this race and the role it could play in determining who controls the balance of power in the Senate. And I’m really excited about it.”4

No matter what happens, it won’t be an easy election, but it’s one Chellie can win, if MoveOn members rally to her side. We have to show Chellie that she’ll have the resources she needs to win the race. This is our chance to elect a champion to the Senate to join Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin. This can be the year of the progressive women, but only with your support.

Will you let us know how much you’d pledge to Chellie’s campaign right now, and ask all your friends to do the same?

Thanks for all you do.

–Julia, Adam, Steven, Elena, and the rest of the team

Maine is a pretty progressive state and Snowe was at best a RINO, but any endorsement by should give voters a clue as to how far to the left Pingree really is.