Sara Gideon, the Democratic Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, said she raised more than $1 million in the first week of her campaign to challenge incumbent Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (R-Maine).
Gideon’s fundraising included donations from more than 2,000 residents across the state and 97 percent of contributions were $100 or less, her campaign said.
“Our campaign is about the idea that if you listen and if you’re willing to work with others, it’s still possible to get things done – and I am so grateful to the supporters who are joining us to make this a reality in the U.S. Senate,” Gideon said in a statement.
Gideon is the highest-profile Democrat to enter the Maine Senate race so far.
The election is a prime target for Democrats looking to flip Senate seats in 2020, after Collins vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSenators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh Why isn't Harris leading the charge against the Texas abortion law? Cori Bush introduces legislation aimed at expanding access to emergency rental assistance funds MORE, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct and rape, prompted an effort to recruit challengers.
Still, Collins who has held her Senate seat since 1997, is considered hard to beat.
In her campaign launch video, Gideon directly challenged Collins' vote to confirm Kavanaugh, saying it “put women’s control of their own health care decisions in extreme jeopardy.”
Gideon also called out Collins' support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Other Democrats seeking the nomination to challenge Collins are Betsy Sweet, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018, and Bre Kidman, an attorney.