Fundraising efforts are under way to unseat Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, amid backlash over her decision to vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
Be A Hero Team, Maine People's Alliance, and Mainers for Accountable Leadership first launched a campaign in September asking for funds to go toward Collins’ opponent when she is up for reelection in 2020, in the event that Collins decided to back Kavanaugh. If she voted against him, all the funds would be refunded.
But Collins announced Friday afternoon that she would vote for Kavanaugh, prompting the campaign to garner more than $50,000 just during her 45-minute speech disclosing her decision.
By 7 p.m. on Friday, more than $3 million total had been raised for Collins’ 2020 opponent. At the time of publication, more than $3,117,000 had been raised.
"Susan Collins has betrayed the people, and especially the women and survivors, of Maine," the groups said in a statement Friday. "Thousands of Mainers wrote, called, visited, protested, begged and pleaded with Susan Collins to do the right thing — to be a hero — and vote no. She ignored them."
"For years, she has claimed to be an independent, a different kind of Republican, but today she shattered that facade forever. Her vote will reverberate long after she has left the Senate,” the groups wrote.
Kavanaugh has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, including Christine Blasey Ford, who claims Kavanaugh forced himself onto her in the 1980s at a high school party. Kavanaugh has rejected all allegations.
Collins admitted she found Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week to be “sincere, painful and compelling,” but said due process should not be ignored.
“Certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them,” Collins said.
“We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness,” she said.