Sara Gideon is the Speaker of the House in Maine’s House of Representatives. In October 2018 Gideon began signaling that she was considering a run for the US Senate. Her statement came after Maine Senator Susan Collins announced that she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice. By June 2019, Gideon’s candidacy was looking more and more likely. News reports said that she was expected to launch her campaign sometime in late June, after the state’s legislative session wrapped up/
Here’s what you need to know about Sara Gideon:
1. Gideon Said that Maine ‘Deserves’ a New Champion in the US Senate
Gideon put up a post on her Facebook page just after Susan Collins had given a speech on the Senate floor to announce her support for Kavanaugh. Gideon wrote, “Women both in Maine and across the country have raised our voices loud and clear – Brett Kavanaugh should have no seat on the highest court in the land. Unfortunately, Senator Collins has chosen to vote against the interests of us all.”
Gideon said that, because of Collins’ position on Kavanaugh, she does not deserve to represent Maine. Instead, Gideon said, Maine needs a new senator who will represent the true positions of the state. Gideon wrote, “Maine deserves a champion in the US Senate. My focus right now is expanding our House majority here in Maine and electing Janet Mills as our next governor, but after November I will be seriously considering how I can elevate the voices of people who deserve and demand to be heard and represented in Washington, DC.”
Gideon’s Facebook page quickly filled up with comments from her supporters, who pledged to vote for her if she decides to run. One man wrote, “Nice to read this from Maine’s Speaker of the House. She will be a tremendous candidate.” And one woman wrote, “Oh Sara you know I will champion you to the ends of the Earth!”
2. Gideon Has Served Three Terms in the Maine House of Representatives
Gideon, a Democrat, is now serving her first term as the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives. She has been a representative for three terms, representing the towns of Freeport and Pownal. She lives in Freeport with her husband and children.
Gideon says her number one priority is improving Maine’s economy. She lists renewable energy as another key issue, and speaks about the importance of creating a green economy. Gideon also says that she is concerned about the opiate crisis, which has hit Maine very hard in recent years. She has also pushed to improve schooling across the state.
Gideon also says that, as a mother herself, issues that impact on families are extremely important to her. She talks about the importance of issues facing working class and middle class families in Maine, and making sure that those families are not forgotten or left behind.
3. Gideon Is the Daughter of Immigrants
Gideon was born in Rhode Island to an immigrant father and an immigrant mother. Her father Her father immigrated to America from India and worked as a pediatrician. Her mother’s family immigrated to the US from Armenia. Gideon is the youngest of four children.
Gideon got her BA from George Washington University. Before getting into politics, she worked as an advertising account executive for a newspaper.
4. Gideon Is Married and Has Three Children
Gideon is not a native of Maine, but her husband, Ben Gideon, is. Sara grew up in Rhode Island before moving to Washington DC for college and then moving again, to New York City, to work as an advertising executive. After meeting Ben, she moved with him to Maine.
The couple lives in Freeport with their three young children.
In an interview with the Maine State Legislatures magazine, Gideon said that when she has spare time, “I just like to fold back into my family and my community. I am the person who empties the dishwasher, takes out the garbage and moves the kids from place to place. We do a lot of skiing, canoeing, kayaking and swimming, and I horseback ride with my daughter. I also spend a lot of time on the sidelines just watching the kids play. And that is the realistic life of a 40-something mother of three and speaker of the House. It’s the best I can do.”
5. 2 Other Candidates Have Already Announced Plans to Run Against Susan Collins
As soon as Susan Collins announced that she was voting for Kavanaugh, Democrats launched a crowd-funding campaign to fund whomever decided to run against her in 2020. Days after being launched, the fund had already racked up more than three million dollars in contributions.
Two Democrats have already formally announced plans to run for Senate against Susan Collins. Betsy Sweet, a former candidate for governor of Maine, annnounced in June that she was running for the Senate. And Bre Kidman, a lawyer and the first openly non-binary U.S. Senate candidate in the country, announced her candidacy back in April.
Susan Rice, the former National Security adviser and one-time ambassador to the United Nations, also hinted that she might consider running to replace Susan Collins.