AUGUSTA — A physician from Washington County announced her intentions Monday to challenge U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in 2020.

Dr. Cathleen London of Milbridge, a member of the Maine Democratic State Committee, said she is launching her campaign so early “because health care and the Supreme Court cannot wait until another full election cycle.”

London specifically criticized Collins – a moderate Republican frequently regarded as a swing vote – for saying that she would not use the Roe v. Wade abortion case as an ideological “litmus test” when reviewing Supreme Court nominees, and for her controversial support of last year’s Republican tax reform bill.

“Senator Collins has forgotten who she represents,” London said in a prepared statement. “Rather than putting her constituents first, it has become apparent that when it comes to the tough decisions, it is President Trump and the GOP first and Mainers last. Our health care is in shambles, thanks in no large part to her failure to stand up to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, when he steamrolled her on a promise of fixing the Affordable Care Act for a vote on the Republican tax bill.”

Collins’ office did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon. London has been publicly mulling a race against Collins for several weeks.

Collins was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and has not said – more than two years before the election – whether she will seek another six-year term. She was re-elected with 68.5 percent of the vote in 2014 in a race against Democrat Shenna Bellows, who now represents the Manchester area in the Maine Senate. Max Linn, whose failure to qualify for the party primary in June generated weeks of headlines, has said he plans to challenge Collins in the 2020 Republican primary.

Before opening her own medical practice in rural Down East Maine, London worked as an assistant professor at the Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York City and had a practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 791-6312 or at:

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