Maine voters like me have watched for years as Sen. Susan Collins disappointed us time and again – waffling over difficult issues, pretending to consider options, and ultimately making the wrong choices.

We waited to see how Sen. Collins would vote on Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She betrayed Maine women. We waited to see if she would defend small businesses in the Republican tax bill. She betrayed Maine businesspeople. We waited to see if she would hold this president accountable and vote to convict in the face of overwhelming evidence. She betrayed Mainers, whose values include fairness and justice.

Collins often says “I am disappointed” in the unequivocally unethical actions by the Trump administration and her party. I must say the feeling is mutual.

Maine cannot afford to let Susan Collins vote against us for six more years when the future of the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act and our democracy are at stake. We need a senator who will vote to protect our health, protect our jobs, protect our environment and begin to roll back the years of conservative court packing with extreme judges and justices like Amy Coney Barrett. I’m voting to fire Sen. Collins, and instead elect a senator who will stop disappointing Mainers, and put us first.

This is personal. I am disabled and use a wheelchair. I am an IT contractor without access to employer-based insurance. I rely on the ACA to help me access medication and care so I can keep working, paying taxes and contributing to my community. Without that access, I would be forced to live off of government disability.

I want to work. I want to contribute. I pay my taxes, I volunteer with charities and I work for businesses that bring money into Maine. I spend my income at our local businesses. And as a board member of the Disability Voters of Maine, I know there are many Mainers who are struggling with access to care and support for themselves or their loved ones. We need and deserve a senator who represents us, one who cares for us.

Sen. Collins supported the Republican tax bill that gutted the ACA individual mandate. If the Supreme Court rules against the ACA, as it now looks likely to do with newly confirmed Justice Barrett, an estimated 105,000 Mainers will be vulnerable to losing their health coverage as a result.

I was there in 1994 when Collins, then a Republican candidate for governor, won the Portland Press Herald’s endorsement by saying politicians should “listen to the voters.” Yet over the past four years of the Trump administration, Collins has proven herself unable to disassociate herself from the party of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell – a party that dismisses the rights of women and working people. We asked her to listen. She didn’t.

There’s a lot on the ballot this year. Our Senate votes could determine the future of our health care, our environment, our risk of COVID-19 and, perhaps most importantly, our Maine values.

If Collins stays in Washington next year, our livelihoods and our health care are in jeopardy. Who do you trust to make the right decision for Maine? Who do you trust to listen and take appropriate actions?

I am tired of being “disappointed” in the poor representation of our state. Sen. Collins was given the chance to fight for us, and she let us down. In this election, she will face the consequences.


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