Leading a Cast of Thousands, President Barack Obama Endorses Sara Gideon

The Big Story: In a video statement released last week, former President Barack Obama endorsed Sara Gideon for Senate and explained that Mainers should send Gideon to work with Joe Biden in Washington “to move our country forward.” In the video, which never mentions Susan Collins, the former president notes that Gideon has a demonstrated record of success in Maine, which includes passing legislation to lower prescription drug prices, fight the opioid crisis and provide property tax relief. Even under “mini-Trump” governor Paul LePage, Gideon managed to achieve bipartisan gains, starting her tenure as speaker of the Maine house by seating Democrats and Republicans together rather than across an aisle from each other. “Sara has brought people together to get things done,” Obama says in the video, and “is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington.” (Obama endorsement video, October 19, 2020.)

More endorsements for Sara Gideon:

Three-term Senator Susan Collins was once highly popular, but now many Mainers who once supported her are vowing to vote her out of office. “She’s just not the person of courage and integrity that I thought she was,” explains Jeanette from Waterville in a 30-second Swing Left Maine video of several Mainers who are voting for Sara Gideon. (Swing Left video testimonial.)

Les Fossel, a prominent Republican who was the former co-chair of Collins’ election committee in Lincoln County, endorsed Sara Gideon in an op-ed last week. “Again and again, Sen. Collins has been silent or offered tepid comments as President Trump wreaks havoc, inflames divisions and spreads hate. If Sen. Collins had stood up for what she must have known was right, then I wouldn’t be writing this op-ed.” (The Portland Press-Herald, October 20, 2020.)

Earlier this year, a number of prominent labor groups, including the Maine State Council of Machinists, which once backed Collins, came out in support of Sara Gideon. (The Bangor Daily News, July 31, 2020.). Other unions supporting Gideon include The Maine State Association of Letter Carriers, Carpenters Locals 349 and 352, and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Advocacy groups that previously supported Collins have also endorsed Sara Gideon this year, including Equality Maine  and dozens of others, such as Planned Parenthood, Naral, The Human Rights Campaign,  The League of Conservation Voters, The Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Maine AFL-CIO.

In an open letter, over 100 former Collins supporters have endorsed Gideon.

(Gideon press release, July 15, 2020.)