MAINE, USA — Sara Gideon, Maine state House Speaker and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, reported $3.5 million raised in the fourth quarter of 2019. According to a press release Tuesday, Gideon’s grassroots support had contributions from nearly 4,200 Mainers, with nearly 95 percent of individual donations under $100.
Since announcing her candidacy opposing incumbent Susan Collins in June, Gideon has raised a total of $7.6 million but still trails her opponent. Collins raised $8.6 million through just three quarters of 2019 and has a little more than $7 million cash on hand.
"Over the past seven months, we've built a strong grassroots movement traveling to every corner of the state, holding Suppers with Sara and talking to Mainers about the challenges they face," Gideon said in the release. "Washington is broken – it's too responsive to special interests, and that's why I'm not accepting any corporate PAC money in this race. I'm so proud that thousands of Mainers have joined our team, and I promise to be a Senator who fights for them, not special interests."
Gideon remains the likely front-runner out of the Collins opponents. In addition to Gideon and Collins, five other candidates have declared for the June 9 primary: Democrat, activist, and former attorney Betsy Sweet of Hallowell, Democrat and former Google executive Ross LaJeunesse, Democrat and former attorney Bre Kidman, and independents attorney Tiffany Bond and activist Danielle VanHelsing.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Sweet raised only $183,245 in the first three quarters, and LaJeunesse hasn't reported any money raised yet, since he just announced his campaign in November.
Fourth quarter reports with the Federal Election Commission are due Friday. No candidates have filed their official reports yet.
Gideon was recently endorsed by Planned Parenthood, a key endorsement for the Democrat, as well as by 75 elected officials from across Maine.
Susan Collins, a four-term Senator, has been criticized by voters for her voter confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and for her decisions in President Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial. Democrats in Maine and across the country are eager to unseat her.