- Associated Press - Monday, October 1, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine — Opponents of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are keeping up the pressure on Republican Sen. Susan Collins and vowing that she’ll pay a political price if she votes for him.

A group of about 30 demonstrators showed up at her Portland office on Monday to send messages urging her to vote no. Collins is one of a handful of moderate senators who have not said how they would vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“If he is on the bench, we’re done,” Theressa Harrigan, a professor and retired attorney, told Collins’s staff on Monday. “They can come up with another nominee. Not this man.”

It was the latest in a series of demonstrations at Collins’ offices. Demonstrators also held a sit-in at her Portland on Friday, the day the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor.

Collins’ office said that she has met with hundreds of Maine residents on the Kavanaugh issue. On Friday, when demonstrators gathered at her office in Portland, Collins met with five sexual assault victims at her office in Washington, her office said.

And around the state, many women are losing patience.

“Oh my gosh, it’s like a bad dream, and it gets worse every day,” said Cindy Noyes, a registered Republican who went to school with Collins in northern Maine.

She said that Ford was “totally 100 percent believable” and that Kavanaugh “just irritated me” during their testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The FBI is conducting an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. Collins said she supports the investigation but hasn’t said whether she supports Kavanaugh.

Those who oppose Kavanaugh have been spending plenty of time at her offices in Portland, Bangor and in Washington, D.C., where several were arrested last week. Over the weekend, a handful of protesters stood outside her home in Bangor.

On Monday, Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill of HopeGateWay in Portland came to Collins office to send a message that Kavanaugh is “not judicial by any means” and shouldn’t be confirmed.

“If he lies about the small things, why would we have confidence that he wouldn’t lie about the big things?” he said.

In Caribou, Sandra Bouchard, an independent voter and Noyes’s sister, said she supported the Kavanaugh nomination before the allegations of sexual misconduct. She said his testimony before the Judiciary Committee was unbecoming of someone who sits on the federal bench.

“I didn’t really care for his answers. I thought they were slightly evasive. I believed her. I figured she was quite brave to come out and do that,” she said. “I think there’s enough to say that he’s not the best choice for a supreme court justice,” she said.

Maine’s other senator, independent Sen. Angus King, has already pledged to vote no. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is another member of Collins’ party who is undecided. Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona called for the FBI investigation and has expressed doubts.

Associated Press writer David Sharp contributed to this report.

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