PanARMENIAN.Net - Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, a lawmaker with Armenian roots, has officially jumped into the state's U.S. Senate race, joining two other Democrats in their quest to unseat Republican Susan Collins, the Huffington Post reports.
She'd been expected to announce her run after the scheduled June 19 close of Maine's legislative session.
'Whether its been on the town council, as a state representative or as Maine's speaker of the House, I've learned that if you listen and if you are willing to work with others, it's still possible to get things done,' Gideon said in a video announcing her campaign on Monday.
Gideon, the daughter of an Indian immigrant father and a second-generation Armenian American mother, has served in the Maine House of Representatives since 2012, representing the towns of Freeport and Pownal.
The 47-year-old mother of three has focused her legislative tenure on boosting the state's economy, tackling the opioid crisis, investing in sustainable energy and increasing access to universal health care.
In the last few weeks of Maine's first regular legislative session of 2019, Gideon oversaw the passage of several progressive bills, including automatic voter registration and expanding abortion access for women across the state.
Defeating Collins, the Maine moderate who infuriated liberals with her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, is key to Democratic hopes of winning back control of the Senate in 2020.
"Susan Collins has been in the Senate for 22 years and at one point maybe she was different than some of the other folks in Washington," Gideon said in her campaign video. "But she doesn't seem that way anymore."
Collins' support for Kavanaugh despite the multiple sexual misconduct allegations raised against him from the 1980s drew outrage from Democrats and abortion rights activists. Gideon hinted at a potential run in October following the vote.