WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Sara Gideon is capitalizing on her momentum on the heels of her Democratic State Primary victory Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced their endorsement of Gideon in the Maine Senate race, an endorsement Collins has held in every race since 2002.
“Despite Susan Collins’ record of support on certain key LGBTQ issues, her support of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump’s agenda, endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court and failure to hold Donald Trump accountable, is simply untenable,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.
In the 112th Congress, the Congress immediately prior to Collins’ 2014 HRC endorsement, she earned an 82 on the HRC Congressional Scorecard. In their most recent survey, the HRC says Collins' score dropped dramatically to a 33.
The endorsement for Gideon was announced alongside five other candidates, in what the HRC calls “Pro-Equality Leaders” who are “crucial to establishing a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate to finally break Sen. Mitch McConnell’s stranglehold on LGBTQ rights and protections, including passing the Equality Act.”
In addition to Gideon, the newly-endorsed candidates include:
- Theresa Greenfield (D-Iowa)
- MJ Hegar (D-Texas)
- John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.)
- Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
- Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.)
“Every Mainer, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves a seat at the table in discussions about our future and I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign in this race,” Gideon said in a statement. “In the State House, we passed landmark legislation banning conversion therapy and strengthening the Maine Human Rights Act to protect LGBTQ Mainers from discrimination based on gender identity. I look forward to bringing the same dedication to full equality to Washington, and will always fight for the right of all Mainers to live without fear of discrimination.”
In the announcement, the HRC said, “With a new pro-equality Senate majority alongside the House pro-equality majority, we have the opportunity not just to pass the Equality Act, but ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected, common sense gun safety legislation can be considered, voting rights can be advanced, and anti-equality judges are not appointed to our federal courts and the Supreme Court.”
In a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine about the endorsement, Kevin Kelley of the Collins campaign said, "As the HRC itself admits, this endorsement is based purely on partisan politics. The only thing that has changed since 2014 when HRC last endorsed Senator Collins is that she is now the lead Republican sponsor of the Equality Act, HRC’s top policy goal. This is not how you treat a friend and ally.”