June 15, 2019 - 13:06 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, a Democrat with Armenian roots, is expected to formally announce in the coming weeks that she’s running for Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ seat in 2020, five Democratic sources confirmed, according to HuffPost.
She will likely launch her campaign shortly after the close of the state’s legislative session on June 19, the three Democratic sources in Maine and two national Democratic strategists said.
Defeating Collins, the Maine moderate who infuriated liberals with her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, is key to Democratic hopes of winning back control of the Senate in 2020. Gideon is a top-tier recruit for the race and is expected to have at least the tacit backing of establishment groups like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List.
At the same time, the Senate GOP is marshaling its resources to defend Collins, who has long outperformed other Republicans on the ballot in Maine.
Gideon hinted last October that she would toss her hat in the ring following Collins’ controversial vote for Kavanaugh.
“Maine deserves a champion in the US Senate,” Gideon wrote in a Facebook post at the time. “After November I will be seriously considering how I can elevate the voices of people who deserve and demand to be heard and represented in Washington, DC.”
Gideon, a 47-year-old mother of three, has served in the Maine House of Representatives since 2012, representing the towns of Freeport and Pownal. Her legislative initiatives have focused on boosting the state’s economy, tackling the opioid crisis, investing in sustainable energy and increasing access to universal health care.
Earlier this week, Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill sponsored by Gideon that expands access to abortion in the state by allowing health care professionals who are not doctors ― such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants ― to perform the procedure.
Gideon is a graduate of George Washington University and the daughter of an Indian immigrant father and a second-generation Armenian American mother.