Indian-American Democrat Sara Gideon wins primary in Maine

Gideon, 48, is currently the Speaker of the Maine State Assembly. She had long been the favourite to challenge Collins, the sole remaining New England Republican in Congress.

By Author  |  Published: 15th Jul 2020  2:38 pm
Sara Gideon
House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, greets news media near a polling station in Portland, Maine. Photo: AFP

Washington: Indian-origin American politician Sara Gideon has won the Democratic primary for the US Senate seat from the state of Maine and will face incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins in the November elections.

Gideon, 48, is currently the Speaker of the Maine State Assembly. She had long been the favourite to challenge Collins, the sole remaining New England Republican in Congress.

After entrepreneur Rik Mehta, she is the second Indian-American to have won a Senate primary race this election season. Both Gideon and Mehta are the first Indian-American to win the primaries in their respective states.

Daughter of Indian-American father and Armenian mother, Gideon has already attracted the attention of the entire Democratic Party from across the nation and has raised a massive USD 23 million, which is a Maine record.

Democrats are pinning a lot of hope on her to get them a majority in the Senate.

“Thank you, Maine, for choosing me as your candidate to take on Senator Collins in November,” Gideon said soon after her massive electoral victory.

Gideon’s father immigrated from India and worked as a pediatrician in Rhode Island, where Gideon, the youngest of four children, grew up. She moved to Maine after meeting her husband Ben Gideon, a personal injury trial lawyer with the firm.

If elected in November, she will be the second Indian-American woman to be elected to the US Senate. Kamala Harris from California is the first Indian-origin Senator to be elected to the US Senate.

According to local Bangor Daily News, both candidates are likely to be in the national spotlight as Maine is considered a pivotal state for Republicans looking to hold onto the Senate and Collins has become a target for liberals who argue the senator long seen as a moderate has failed to adequately stand up to President Donald Trump.

“Tonight, I am one step closer,” achieving the goal for which she is running the election, Gideon said in a Facebook live telecast Tuesday night.

A broken Washington has failed to take action to address the coronavirus pandemic, she said and alleged that her rival Senator Collins has become part of the establishment.

“Mainers deserve a Senator who brings people together,” Gideon said and promised to work with everyone and anyone to get things done.

“I’m running for Senate today because I know we can take on our toughest issues and work together to ensure that everyone has access to health care that is excellent and affordable.” she said.

“To build an economy that truly works for everyone, putting the interests of working families and small businesses first. To invest in ourselves. And to finally tackle special interests’ influence in our politics and return our government to the people,” she added.

“And as President Trump continues to divide our country, we remember all of the times when Senator Collins enabled and excused his attacks on our democracy,” she said.

The US is facing unprecedented challenges right now. The coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the health, safety, and economy of America. And a broken Washington fails to take action because politicians put special interests and partisan politics before the people they’re supposed to represent, Gideon said.

The US is the worst-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has infected more than 3.4 million people in the country and killed over 130,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

“If we are going to come together and make real progress to improve the lives of people here in Maine and across the country, then we need new leadership,” she said.