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Thomas Hodge "Tom" Allen (born April 16, 1945) was a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Maine's 1st congressional district, and the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2008 against Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins. Allen lost overwhelmingly to Collins (61.5% to 38.5%) even though Democrats nationally enjoyed large gains in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Allen was first elected in 1996, defeating Republican incumbent James Longley, Jr. with 55 percent of votes cast to Longley's 45 percent. Allen was re-elected five times, receiving over 55 percent of the vote each time in his district, until his remarkable defeat in his 2008 run for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Susan Collins.
Allen was born in Portland, Maine to Genevieve (“Sukey”) Lahee and Charles W. Allen. He graduated from Deering High School. He went on to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine before winning a Rhodes Scholarship to Wadham College in the University of Oxford. During this time he became friends with Bill Clinton, his fellow Rhodes scholar. After Oxford he went on to Harvard Law School and practiced as a lawyer. He entered the field of politics when he became a staff member for Governor Kenneth M. Curtis and later for Senator Edmund S. Muskie. Allen was elected to the city council of Portland, Maine in 1989 and served as the city's mayor between 1991-1992 before entering the House.