Sara Gideon enters race to problem Sen. Susan Collins in Maine

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) drew a high-profile Democratic challenger Monday, as Maine Home Speaker Sara Gideon introduced her candidacy with a video that sought to undermine Collins’s rigorously tended reasonable picture.

“Susan Collins has been within the Senate for 22 years,” Gideon says within the video. “And at one level, possibly she was completely different than a few of the folks in Washington, however she doesn’t appear that approach any extra.”

As Democrats search to take again the Senate subsequent yr, Collins has change into an inviting goal within the wake of her votes for President Trump’s Supreme Court docket nominees and his tax invoice. In her video, Gideon, who was inspired to run by nationwide Democrats, highlights each of these points and consists of footage of Trump and Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praising Collins for her actions.

Gideon, 47, teased a potential Senate run in October after Collins, 66, voted to substantiate Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court docket regardless of allegations of sexual misconduct within the 1980s and issues about his views on abortion.

In her video, Gideon says that Collins’s assist for Kavanaugh “could also be paying off for her, however it’s put ladies’s management over their very own health-care choices in excessive jeopardy.”

Collins most just lately received reelection in 2014 with greater than 68 p.c of the vote within the common election.

Maine, nevertheless, is considered one of two states with Senate races subsequent yr that was carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, placing it excessive on the goal checklist for Democrats as they attempt to achieve management of the chamber. Republicans maintain a 53-to-47 benefit.

Gideon should first prevail in a Democratic major earlier than taking over Collins. Two lesser-known candidates have introduced bids: Betsy Candy, a liberal activist who ran unsuccessfully for governor final yr; and Bre Kidman, a lawyer.

Gideon’s focus within the Maine legislature has included job coaching, well being care and tackling the state’s opioid disaster.

In her video, she casts herself as a politician who can work with others to get issues performed.

“Collectively we’ll be sure that we’ve got a senator who’s placing Maine first,” she says.

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