U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon, a front-runner in the Democratic race to challenge Sen. Susan Collins, cast her vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in Tuesday’s presidential primary.

“There’s a lot that will need to be done when Donald Trump is replaced this November, both within our country and around the world,” Gideon said in a prepared statement. “At this moment, I think Vice President Biden is the candidate most able to bring the country together and to look into the future to address all the challenges we face.”

Gideon, of Freeport, serves as the Maine speaker of the House and is among four Democrats who will face off in a June 9 primary. The others are: former Google executive Ross LaJeunesse of Biddeford; attorney Bre Kidman of Saco and progressive activist Betsy Sweet of Hallowell.

LaJeunesse also revealed his vote in a statement Tuesday.

“I voted for Elizabeth Warren because I am inspired by her intelligence and her passion, and the way she’s been campaigning – speaking and meeting directly with voters,” he said. “I agree that if our government and our economy are going to work for all of us, we need to fight the corruption that has infected too many big corporations and that has infected D.C. too.”

Sweet endorsed Bernie Sanders for president over the weekend and Kidman also backed Sanders in an interview with the Sun Journal last week.

Collins, a four-term senator seeking re-election in what is expected to be the most expensive race in state history, has declined to say whether she will support President Trump’s re-election.

“I would note that it’s on the Democratic side that there are eight candidates, and my likely opponent, as well as the governor and many other Democratic officials have not said who they are going to choose in what is a contested Democratic ballot,” Collins told News Center Maine on Friday. “I’m focused on my job and also on my own campaign and I’m just not going to get involved in presidential politics.”

Her campaign did not respond to another inquiry on Tuesday.

Collins did not support Trump in 2016 and instead wrote in former House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Colby College poll last month of slightly more than 1,000 Maine voters showed Collins and Gideon with virtually identical support nine months before Election Day.

The survey was conducted Feb. 10-13 and asked voters whom they would choose between Collins and Gideon. Gideon led narrowly with 43 percent support, compared to 42 percent for Collins, with 14 percent undecided.

Independents Tiffany Bond, Danielle VanHelsing, Linda Wooten and Lisa Savage also are running.


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