The more moderate-leaning Republican Senator Susan Collins disappointed liberals last year when she voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a justice on the Supreme Court despite piling sexual misconduct accusations. Now, Democrat Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon is taking the opportunity to challenge the veteran lawmaker in the upcoming 2020 election.
Gideon announced her candidacy Monday morning with a campaign ad that touted her experience in the Maine political scene went after the incumbent competition.
“Susan Collins has been in the Senate for 22 years and at one point maybe she was different than some of the other folks in Washington, but she doesn’t seem that way anymore,” Gideon said in the ad, pointing out the Maine senator’s support for President Donald Trump’s tax cut, her donations fueled by pharmaceutical companies, and her support of Kavanaugh.
“Susan Collins’ vote to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court may be paying off for her, but it’s put women’s control over their own health care decisions in extreme jeopardy,” she says.
Watch the video below:
I’m running against Susan Collins for U.S. Senate because Mainers deserve a senator who will always put our state first. Let's build this campaign together. Will you join us? ➡️ https://t.co/mcihP9UtNE #MESen #MEpolitics pic.twitter.com/1SbV0MbMKM
— Sara Gideon (@SaraGideonME) June 24, 2019
Collins easily won her last race in 2014, beating Democratic challenger Shenna Bellows.
But her vote for Kavanaugh ignited a new opposition campaign, with political action campaigns Maine People’s Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership raising over $4 million with a promise they would donate it to Collins’ 2020 competitor.
In a statement to IJR, Maine People’s Alliance confirmed the money would go to whoever wins the Democratic primary:
“Mainers from across the state are justifiably outraged that Collins has stood with the Trump administration to cut health care, undermine abortion rights and give massive new tax breaks to the wealthy. We’re glad to see candidates lining up to challenge her and we’re proud that whoever wins the primary will have more than $4 million in small-dollar, grassroots contributions to bolster their campaign.”
Mainers for Accountable Leadership also confirmed to IJR that the money would be given to whoever wins the Democratic primary and ultimately challenges Collins in 2020, and that they believed a Democrat “absolutely” has a shot at winning.
“We’ve seen Collins’ polling decline, we’ve seen Mainers engaged,” a representative from Mainers for Accountable Leadership told IJR. “We know more and more Mainers are working to ensure Collins never represents them again.”