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Former Top Republican Aide: ‘I Can No Longer Support Susan Collins’

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Jane Calderwood, a former top aide to former Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, of Maine, said in an op-ed published Sunday that she would not back Sen. Susan Collins’s (R-Maine) reelection bid, arguing that the longtime Republican incumbent has become a rubber stamp for President Donald Trump and Republican leaders.

“Sadly, I can no longer support Senator Susan Collins,” Jane Calderwood, who served under Snowe in both the House and the Senate for nearly two decades, wrote in a column for SeacoastOnline.com.

“She has proven unwilling to stand up to the President and too enamored of political power to speak up for the good people of Maine,” Calderwood added. “I am tired of hearing about how ‘concerned’ she is. These times demand strength and action and she has shown neither.”

Calderwood recalled how she experienced “grief” throughout her career in Washington because she worked for a “moderate” lawmaker. Trump’s election in 2016, however, marked a turning point for her, she wrote, and she ultimately decided to leave the Republican Party.

“The election of Donald Trump, as a Republican, however, was the last straw,” Calderwood wrote. “Trump chose the Republican party because there was an open slot not because he possessed any strong belief in the party and its policy goals, so, reluctantly, I changed my party registration.”

“Not because I wanted to leave my party, but when they nominated Trump to represent the Republicans as their presidential candidate, the GOP left me.”

Calderwood’s public denunciation of Collins comes as the longtime Maine senator faces the most challenging reelection bid of her political career. Collins Democratic opponent, Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon, has repeatedly outraised her this cycle and most public polling shows Gideon leading in the race.

The Cook Political Report currently rates the Maine Senate race as a “toss-up.”