Former top Snowe aide: I can no longer support Collins

A former top aide to former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said in an op-ed published on Sunday that she would not back Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee Scammers step up efforts to target older Americans during pandemic MORE’s (R-Maine) reelection bid, arguing that the longtime incumbent has proven unwilling to break ranks with her party and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE.

“Sadly, I can no longer support Senator Susan Collins,” Jane Calderwood, who served under Snowe in both the House and the Senate for nearly two decades, wrote in an op-ed published by SeacoastOnline.com

“She has proven unwilling to stand up to the President and too enamored of political power to speak up for the good people of Maine,” Calderwood added. “I am tired of hearing about how ‘concerned’ she is. These times demand strength and action and she has shown neither.”


Snowe, a centrist Republican, retired from the Senate in 2013 after three terms in the chamber. Collins is now the last remaining New England Republican in Congress. 

In her op-ed, Calderwood recalled how she experienced “grief” throughout her career in Washington because she worked for a “moderate” lawmaker. Trump’s election in 2016, however, marked a turning point for her, she wrote, and she ultimately decided to leave the Republican Party.

“The election of Donald Trump, as a Republican, however, was the last straw,” Calderwood wrote. “Trump chose the Republican party because there was an open slot not because he possessed any strong belief in the party and its policy goals, so, reluctantly, I changed my party registration.”

“Not because I wanted to leave my party, but when they nominated Trump to represent the Republicans as their presidential candidate, the GOP left me.”

Calderwood is a member of the Lincoln Project, a political action committee founded by Republican political operatives opposed to Trump. 


Calderwood’s public denunciation of Collins comes as the longtime Maine senator faces the most challenging reelection bid of her political career. Collins's Democratic opponent, Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon, has repeatedly out-raised her this cycle, and most public polling shows Gideon leading in the race.

Collins has long held a reputation as a relative moderate with an independent streak, though Democrats have sought to cast her as a rubber stamp for Trump and Republican leaders, especially after she voted in 2018 to confirm Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughFor Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty COVID-19: Justice Alito overstepped judicial boundaries Defusing the judicial confirmation process MORE to the Supreme Court.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently rates the Maine Senate race as a "toss-up."

Updated at 11:03 a.m.