Bre Kidman

SACO — A Democratic lawyer from Saco is seeking the U.S. Senate Seat currently held by Republican Susan Collins.

Collins has served in the U.S. Senate since 1997. She is up for re-election in 2020.

Bre Kidman, 31, an attorney working from a home office practicing primarily criminal law, filed with the Federal Election Commission last week. Kidman has lived in Maine since 2012. Originally from Rhode Island, Kidman has roots in Maine and fond memories of visiting relatives in Maine as a child.

“I took a road trip all around the country and was like, is there anywhere else I’d rather be, and the answer was no,” Kidman said.

Kidman has an undergraduate degree from Loyola University Chicago and graduated from University of Maine School of Law in Portland.

She is also involved with MESH, an organization that promotes body positivity.

If elected, Kidman would be the first openly non-binary/queer U.S. senator, and does not identify as exclusively female or male. Kidman used the gender-neutral title “Mx.” on the application with the Federal Election Commission.

If elected, this would be Kidman’s first time delving into a politics.

“I haven’t ever run for office before. I’ve never been a politician. Politicians aren’t getting the job done,” said Kidman.

Politicians are not having in-depth discussions about legislation, but instead are arguing with each other and voting on party lines and making a spectacle out of it, said Kidman.

“Politicians are out their making sausage, but I’ve got my hands in it and I’m cooking with it every day,” said Kidman.

Kidman enjoyed studying public policy in law school. I have the skills needed to review proposed laws, look at the way they are drafted and determine how they could impact people, Kidman said, as well as the ability to talk with someone who doesn’t agree with them, find out why they think the way they do, and take away something from the conversation.

“I’m doing this because I care about the issues and I care what Mainers think about the issues,” Kidman said. “I’m not trying to be a walking suit.”

Kidman said a strong pull to run was the lack of representation of people in government in recent years.

“I think our political process has become inscrutable to most of the public, and people feel like they don’t have a way to participate meaningfully,” said Kidman. “I got frustrated about not having a meaningful way to participate, so instead of whining about it, I decided to do something.”

Kidman sees the opioid epidemic as a top concern. Factoring into the opioid epidemic is a lack of adequate mental health treatment, a lack of adequate physical health treatment, a lack of available slots in substance abuse recovery programs, poverty, lack of affordable housing and the prescription drug industry.

Kidman said there needs to be a different approach when dealing with drug-related crimes. Criminals with substance abuse who go into jail often don’t have access to the tools they need to recover from their addiction, and when they get out of jail, are no better off then when they came in, said Kidman. Often times they are worse, as they may have lost housing, or a job or health care coverage, and they have to start over, said Kidman.

“At this point, we’re losing more than one Mainer a day, more than one person in Maine dies every day, of drug related causes, and I don’t think we have time to wait on piecemeal solutions. I think we need some top-down assistance,” said Kidman.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected].

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: