The 4 candidates in Maine’s U.S. Senate race mentioned well being care, judicial nominations, cash in politics and different points throughout a energetic and fast-paced first debate in a race with potential nationwide implications.
Friday evening’s debate was the primary time that the 2 front-runners, incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, appeared collectively on a stage lower than two months earlier than the election. The occasion was co-sponsored by the Portland Press Herald, the Bangor Every day Information and Information Heart Maine.
Collins and Gideon traded barbs over the senator’s help for President Trump’s judicial nominees and concerning the large quantities of cash flowing into the race, which is already far and away the costliest race in Maine historical past.
At one level, Gideon herself requested Collins a query that she has been fielding for months however thus far declined to reply: who will she help within the upcoming election?
“I don’t suppose that the folks of Maine want my recommendation on whom to help for president,” Collins replied. “Final week I used to be on a bus tour all around the state of Maine. Not a single individual requested me who must be the following president. What they did say was how grateful they had been for the Paycheck Safety Program that I wrote as a result of it preserved their job or their small enterprise.”
However Gideon later returned to the problem as she accused Trump of selecting to “sow division and hatred, even placing tear fuel into the crowds of peaceable protesters” in response to racial justice rallies.
“We additionally want actual management and I believe that’s the reason folks preserve asking Susan Collins who she thinks must be main this nation,” mentioned Gideon, who’s Maine’s Home Speaker. “It’s not that Mainers are in search of recommendation about who to vote for. It’s that they need to know who their senator thinks must be main us.”
The 2 independents within the race, Lisa Savage of Solon and Max Linn of Bar Harbor, additionally had their first main likelihood to be heard by massive numbers of Maine voters who’ve endured months of political adverts — a lot of them damaging — concerning the two major-party candidates.
Savage, who’s registered as a Inexperienced Impartial, spoke repeatedly about her help for a Inexperienced New Deal to assist revitalize Maine’s economic system in addition to Medicare for All.
However Linn lived as much as his fame because the wildcard within the race, repeatedly declining to reply questions and as an alternative try to speak about points he wished to spotlight. However within the means of portraying himself as “that one thing completely different” to big-money politics, Linn missed his likelihood to handle a few of the main problems with the 2020 elections, together with well being care.
“A whole lot of occasions when our moderators ask me a query, I’d put that query apart,” Linn mentioned. “I’d put that query apart as a result of I do know that I’ve to slay these giants, and it’s not going to be straightforward. So I’m going to should be outdoors the field.”
This story shall be up to date.