MAINE, USA — Millions more are on their way to Maine's high profile race for a seat in the United States Senate. Maine Speaker of the House and democratic nominee Sara Gideon is set to receive $3.7 million from the 'Be a Hero Fund.'
It's a donation two years in the making. The fund was created in 2018 around the time Congress voted on whether to confirm now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The Maine People's Alliance, Mainer's for Accountable Leadership, and the Be a Hero Fund combined to crowdfund in Maine and around the nation. The funds were promised to go to Senator Collins' future challenger if she voted to confirm Justice Kavanaugh.
Now that Maine's primary is in the rearview mirror and Sara Gideon is the democratic nominee to challenge Sen. Collins, the money raised will soon have a home.
"We do intend on accepting those funds," Gideon told NEWS CENTER Maine this week. "The people here had the choice to express their opinion about that. And they chose to do it with those $20 and $.20 contributions."
According to staff from the Be Hero Fund in total, they were able to raise $4.1 million, and with fees, Gideon will receive $3.7 million of that.
"This is a fund of individual donations from people across the country and tens of thousands of Mainers. This is not a coordinated special interest group," said Julia Barnes, executive director of the Be a Hero Fund.
There were more than 140,000 individual donors to the campaign, with the average donation coming to $28.
"There were thousands of Mainers who were involved in both giving to this fund, and urging friends and family and others to do the same," said Maine People's Alliance co-director Amy Halsted.
The funds were only promised to go to Collins opponent if she did vote to confirm Kavanaugh. If not, the money would be refunded to all donors.
Collins campaign has referred to this money as a "bribe." The campaign released this new add on money coming into the election earlier this week.
The latest data from the Federal Election Commission shows that Senator Collins has raised more than $16 million, while Speaker Gideon has raised more than $23 million.