Be happy. There are better options than voting to re-elect Sen. Susan Collins next year.

In 1996, Susan Collins promised that if she were elected, she would only run for just two terms. She also promised to work on legislation to repair the disconnect between Social Security and Maine’s state employee retirement program. I believe I voted for her that year.

Twenty-two years later, Collins is still our senator and retired state workers still cannot receive Social Security survivor benefits. Because of this, we have teachers and other government employees routinely working into their 70s if their spouses have died before them.

Collins voted with her fellow Republicans to give the top 1 percent a $1.5 trillion tax break. Meanwhile in Maine, and across the nation, working Americans had to increase our tax contributions to cover the reduced tax revenue from the wealthiest.

Collins is campaigning using dark money from special interest groups to get her marketing messages out. As of June 30, she had over $6.5 million raised for her campaign, with 95 percent of the money raised between April 1 and June 30 coming from out-of-state supporters. Her vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and supporting the Trump tax-cut policy for the top 1 percent is paying well.

There is reason to be hopeful. Next year we have a chance to get rid of Collins, replacing her with either of a couple of very good, Maine-grown options. Sara Gideon of Freeport and Betsy Sweet of Hallowell are very intelligent, articulate people, and have raised families in Maine. Don’t worry, be happy.

Michael J. Mayhew

Boothbay Harbor

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