Former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden endorsed Democrat Sara Gideon’s bid to unseat Republican Sen. Susan Collins this November.

“This November, we need to restore the soul of America by ending the Presidency of Donald Trump. To do that, I need the help of every voter in Maine,” Biden said in a statement released Friday by the Gideon campaign. “But ending the Trump nightmare is not enough. We can’t just go back to the way things were. We need to make progress on health care, the climate crisis, criminal justice reform, our courts, and so much more. And to do that, I need Sara Gideon in the U.S. Senate.”

While not surprising given the high profile and potential national implications of Maine’s Senate race, the Biden endorsement could draw more national attention to Gideon’s candidacy. Biden served alongside Collins in the Senate for more than a decade.

Maine’s Senate contest is drawing enormous national attention and money because it is among a handful of races that could decide who controls the chamber next year. The two candidates have raised more than $41 million combined through June – shattering all previous fundraising records in Maine – and outside groups are pouring millions of dollars into the race.

Gideon, a Freeport resident who is currently Maine’s House speaker, defeated two Democratic opponents on Tuesday to capture the party’s nomination in the Senate race. Collins, who is seeking a fifth term in the Senate, was unopposed in the Republican primary.

Gideon supported Biden during the March presidential primary in Maine. Collins has repeatedly declined to say whether she is supporting Trump’s re-election and did not support his 2016 bid for the White House.

Trump has yet to formally endorse Collins. But in December, he tweeted “I agree 100%!” with a tweet from Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina that praised Collins for her “unbelievable courage” during the confirmation battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and that “We need her to ensure a GOP majority in 2020.”


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