With the Republicans holding a 53-47 majority, the Senate will be hotly contested during the 2020 elections. One seat Democrats hope to flip is the one that Susan Collins currently holds in Maine.
After Collins voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, a crowdfunding campaign was created to fund her 2020 opponent. Despite there not being a defined Democratic candidate, that campaign already has raised $3 million. Collins has not had as much success raising money in her home state. According to The Maine Beacon, the Senator has received more money from Robert Mercer than she has from Maine’s voters.
Mercer is well known as the key investor in the far-right news website, Brietbart.com. The Mercer family typically donates to Republican candidates and causes.
In the first quarter of 2019, Collins only received $9,200 in contributions from Maine residents. That number was exceeded by donations from Mercer and his wife, Diana. They both gave the maximum amount, which totaled $10,800.
The group, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, has created a petition asking the Collins return the donations. They write:
“U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ re-election campaign is funded by special interest and corporate PAC money. We expect her to represent Mainers and Maine values and reject money and politics that spew hatred, division and extremism. We are a state that believes in expanding equality and we hold compassion for others. She must reject the money given to her by Breitbart.”
Collins, facing a tough reelection campaign, is unlikely to consider returning the contribution. Her office has not replied to requests for a statement.