Maine native Stephen King has joined the fight against infamous moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who will be facing off against Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon in her upcoming fight to retain her U.S. Senate seat.
“It’s time for Susan Collins to go,” King announced on Twitter.
When announcing her candidacy against Collins on Monday, Gideon said that the Maine senator has dramatically transformed into a Washingtonian.
“Susan Collins has been in the Senate for 22 years. And at one point maybe she was different than some of the folks in Washington, but she doesn’t seem that way anymore,” Gideon said in a video.
Though Stephen King has endorsed Collins’ challengers in the past, his fervor this time around undoubtedly stems from Collins’ decision to vote “yes” on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation this past fall following a fierce sexual assault allegation-induced confirmation battle.
“IF Susan Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, and IF she runs for re-election — two bigs ifs — she will be defeated,” King said on Twitter this past fall, according to The Hill. “It would be unwise for anyone to mistake how angry most Americans are at the way this is being railroaded through.”
When voting for Kavanaugh, Collins laid out her reasoning in a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, touting the importance of due process and emphasizing the importance of the societal norm of “innocent until proven guilty.”
“I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Court,” said Collins.
Though Collins certainly understood the seriousness of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s claims and said she believed Ford’s contention that something happened to her, the senator noted that the evidence does not support Kavanaugh’s guilt. “Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering,” she said.
Over at CNN, Chris Cillizza recently argued that Collins’ “yes” vote on Kavanaugh could have put her in potential trouble by making her a target for Democratic political revenge:
There’s reason to believe that the 2020 race — now that Gideon is in — will be Collins’ toughest since she won the open seat of retiring Sen. William Cohen in 1996. Here’s why:
1) Trump’s presence in the White House has radicalized voters into partisan camps, leaving very few of the centrists who Collins has always relied on. And if people vote purely on partisanship, Collins loses in Maine; Hillary Clinton carried the state 48% to 45% over Trump in 2016.
2) Collins’ Kavanaugh vote is just the sort of thing Democrats have been waiting years for. In past campaigns, Democratic strategists always struggled to prove — beyond any reasonable doubt — that Collins was more aligned with national Republicans than she let on. But they could never find that singular vote — until Collins voted to confirm Kavanaugh.
3) National Democrats — and the party base — are BEYOND fired up about beating Collins. In the wake of the Kavanaugh vote, more than $4 million was donated to benefit the eventual Democratic nominee against Collins. Of the 22 Republican Senate seats up in 2020, the party’s base cares more about Maine than any other.
That being said, Cillizza cautioned that Democrats have tried multiple times to oust Collins with similar arguments, primarily under President George W. Bush, and they all failed miserably.