- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 6, 2019

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, stood by her critical swing vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a new interview published Saturday.

“I do not regret my vote in the least,” Ms. Collins told The New York Times.

A self-described moderate and pro-choice member in a majority pro-life party, Ms. Collins defended her decision nearly nine months since casting her vote in favor of President Trump’s controversial second pick to the Supreme Court. She initially voiced reluctance amid the nominee facing allegations of sexual assault was almost the only Republican to vote against him before eventually pledging her support.

Senators ultimately agreed to confirm Mr. Trump’s nomination by a vote of 50-48, with all Democrats voting “no” except Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Ms. Collins was elected to the Senate in 1996 and is up for reelection to a fifth term in office in the 2020 election cycle, where she has already faced opposition from several Democrat contenders over her vote to confirm Mr. Trump’s nomination.

“At one point, maybe Sen. Collins was different, but she doesn’t seem that way anymore: taking over a million dollars from drug companies and the insurance industry and voting to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court,” state Rep. Sara Gideon, the Democratic Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, said when she announced her 2020 campaign.

Bre Kidman, a lawyer also competing against Ms. Collins in 2020, told the Maine Beacon in an interview published earlier this week that she was inspired to run after the senator announced she would vote to confirm Justice Kavanaugh.

“Tears ran down my face. I was thinking, ‘I have to do something,’” she said.

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