PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — With all eyes on Maine's Senator Susan Collins and her potential swing vote for President Trump's embattled U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Mainers have gone to the Capitol to voice their concerns.
Dozens of protesters, mainly women, loaded up a bus Wednesday evening and drove through the night in the hopes of having their voices heard.
Their goal is to urge Sen. Susan Collins (R) and Sen. Angus King (I) to vote "no" on on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh who has been accused of sexual assault when he was a teen and of heavy drinking, both allegations that he vehemently denied under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
Pressure is especially intense on Sen. Collins along with Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona and Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. The three Republicans hold the nominee's future in their hands and potentially much more, as Kavanaugh's rejection could set a precedent for sexual assault victims.
Many of the Mainers who made the 12-hour bus trip are sexual assault and rape survivors themselves.
Thursday morning, the women stood outside the Senate with signs, chanting:
"We're from Maine, and we're here to defeat Kavanaugh" and "We believe survivors."
The group sat down with Senator Angus King at his office Thursday morning and with staff from Sen. Collins office.
Collins issued a statement Thursday morning saying:
“It appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I am going back later today to personally read the interviews. That's really all I have to say right now.”
Other protestors in Maine planned to oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination but stayed in the Pine Tree State to do it. Several protesters showed up to Sen. Collins's office in Bangor and Portland.
Some students at the University of Maine are leading a walkout to show support for Kavanaugh's accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, at 4 p.m. Thursday on the campus mall, to coincide with protests being held across the nation.
According to UMaine Feminist Collective Co-Chair Meghan Frisard, the protestors are also hoping to join the voices of other women urging Sen. Collins to vote "no."
NEWS CENTER Maine's Samantha York is following the group on their journey. Join her on Twitter and Facebook to follow along.