While the face-off between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is the main event of the 2020 election, let’s not forget about the Maine event!
Maine’s senator and Republican stalwart Susan Collins is seeing a fierce challenger for her seat in Democrat Sara Gideon. Gideon, currently speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, may even be edging out Collins, who is running for her fifth (yes, fifth) term as senator. Per The New York Times, that slight lead is in part thanks to the state’s ranked voting system. This is one to watch!
According to CNBC, Democratic groups are honing in on close Senate races in Iowa and Maine to potentially win back the Senate and shift power. Maine’s race is so important that even former president Barack Obama has thrown his support Gideon’s way. “In Maine, you’ve got a big responsibility this year,” Obama said in a video. “Not only are you choosing who represents you in Washington, you can also determine which party controls the Senate. […] we need leaders like Sara who are looking out for working families.”
Gideon is running on a progressive platform (via HuffPost), but she’s attracted widespread backing. According to WCSH, she’s raised more than all but three senate candidates nationally, raking in a massive $68.5 million in donations thus far. That’s more than twice what Susan Collins has fundraised and is also impressive considering that Maine is no Texas, size-wise. So, as Election Day looms, scroll down for more on senatorial hopeful Sara Gideon!
Sara Gideon, challenging Susan Collins, is the daughter of immigrants
What should you know about Susan Collins’ Democratic challenger Sara Gideon? For one thing, she’s a Rhode Island native who met her husband, Ben, while studying at George Washington University. By 2004, they’d moved to Freeport, Maine, where Gideon lives to this day (via Emily’s List and Maine Public). Politically speaking, she’s made waves as speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives, doing away with its seating chart, which traditionally separated Democrats from Republicans. It led, per The New York Times, to more bipartisan cooperation. Nice!
Gideon is running on a pro-choice, LGBTQ+ friendly, health care reform, and clean energy-centered platform. In Maine’s state House, she’s successfully passed bills expanding women’s access to abortion and to facilitate voting rights (via HuffPost). Sara Gideon describes her Rhode Island upbringing as “in some ways … just a very typical suburban childhood” (via Maine Public). That being said, there’s another all-American tale behind her: She’s the child of immigrants.
Gideon’s father, a pediatrician, moved to the United States when he was 24 years old, according to Maine Public. Gideon’s mother was born in America, but her mother’s Armenian parents moved to the US, fleeing genocide. “That’s really a big part of who I am and also how I see the world around me,” Gideon told Maine Public. If she becomes senator, she’d be, per The Economic Times, the second Indian American to ever do so, behind another trailblazer, Kamala Harris. Keep an eye on Sara Gideon!
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