With all eyes on Susan Collins, the Maine Senator and moderate Republican whose vote will be crucial in the Brett Kavanaugh vote, some are wondering about her own family.
Is Susan Collins married? Does she have children? Susan Collins is married. She married later in life in 2012, and she does not have children. Collins is married to Thomas Daffron, who was well-known for decades in the halls of Congress, working as a chief of staff for top Republican Senators, including Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, the other moderate Republican on whose vote the Kavanaugh confirmation partly hinges.
Collins announced on Friday that she is voting “yes” for Kavanaugh’s nomination. Kavanaugh was confirmed with a vote of 50-48-1. Collins did vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
Here’s what you need to know:
Susan Collins First Met Her Husband, Tom Daffron, When She Was an Intern Years Ago
Thomas Daffron and Susan Collins go back decades as friends and, in the beginning, there was a mentorship type of situation between them. According to a story on Central Maine.com, Collins first met Tom Daffron when he hired her as an intern for former Senator Bill Cohen.
She was 21. It was 1974. According to the article Daffron acted as Collins’s mentor both then and as her own political career began to ascend. “Somebody once said that the best person to marry is your best friend,” says Daffron to the newspaper. “This evolved from a working relationship to a friendship when I was working on her campaigns and now to husband and wife.”
“He’s extraordinarily smart, has a wonderful sense of humor and is a great friend,” Collins said to the Bangor Daily News. “Those qualities matter a lot to me.” Collins does not have children, and it was her first marriage – at age 59. Daffron has described himself as a moderate Republican as well and most of the politicians he has worked for belonged to the GOP.
Collins & Her Husband Married in 2012 When She Was 59
Collins and Daffron married in 2012. Their marriage occurred when Collins was already a Senator. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Dr. Thomas Bentum at Gray Memorial United Methodist Church in Caribou, Maine, according to The New York Times wedding announcement.
Collins was 59 at the time. Hillary Clinton held a women-only dinner at her house for Collins that The Washington Post dubbed a bachelorette party. The wedding was described by The Post as a small family wedding.
Collins is the daughter of a former Maine state senator named Donald F. Collins, and his wife, Patricia M. Collins, who served as mayor of Caribou, Maine. It was Daffron’s second marriage.
According to Bloomberg, Thomas Daffron “served as the Chief Operating Officer of Jefferson Consulting Group, LLC since September 2006. Mr. Daffron oversaw Jefferson Consulting Group’s administrative and financial functions as well as the day-to-day operations of the firm.”
He has served in numerous staff roles for politics, among them as chief of staff to William Cohen, a Republican who served in the House and Senate for Maine; to former Sen. Fred Thompson, a Tennessee Republican; and to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, Bloomberg reports. Murkowski is considered one of the other key Republican swing votes when it comes to Brett Kavanaugh.
According to Bloomberg, Daffron once worked for Democratic Arizona Rep. Morris Udall and was a speech writer for Illinois Senator Charles Percy, a Republican.
The New York Times wedding announcement reveals that Daffron is the son of the late Katherine M. Daffron and Thomas A. Daffron Jr., of Suffern New York. According to the announcement, the father was an assistant news editor at The New York Times and was managing editor of the paper’s International Edition in Paris.
You can read an oral history of Daffron’s life here. He said in the oral history that his mother was an “active Democrat” and his father non partisan and described some of his experiences working with senators throughout the years. He described himself as a moderate Republican.
The 1995 obituary for Daffron’s father, also named Thomas Daffron, said he died at age 83 of heart and kidney failure and retired from the Times in 1974 after spending 24 years on the newspaper’s staff. Daffron’s dad also worked at other major newspapers, including the Washington Post and Chicago Sun-Times. He had two daughters in addition to his son
Susan Collins is one of two pro-choice Republicans in the Senate.[/caption]
Thomas Daffron has been registered as a lobbyist. In 2012, he told The Press Herald that he didn’t do much lobbying and never of Collins.
“We do very little lobbying at Jefferson as a general rule, and I don’t do any and haven’t for at least five years,” he told the newspaper’s Colin Woodard. “I’ve never lobbied Susan and would not because I think it would be inappropriate.” According to ABC News Radio, Daffron also worked as “the national campaign manager for the presidential campaign of Elizabeth Dole” and the marriage was Collins’s first.
You can see the lobbying profile for the Jefferson firm here.