Former President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed Sara Gideon in her bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Susan Collins this November.
Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House, was among 118 Democrats in 17 states that Obama endorsed in a list posted Monday morning on the website Medium. It was billed as the former Democratic president’s first wave of endorsements ahead of the 2020 election.
That comes after the Maine State Council of Machinists endorsed Gideon on Friday, a reversal for the labor group that backed Collins, a Republican, in her 2014 re-election bid.
The race for the Senate seat currently held by Collins will be one of the most high-profile races in the country as Democrats look to erode Republicans’ majority in the chamber. It is already the most expensive race in Maine history, with three months to go before voters head to the polls.
While Obama has thrown his support behind Gideon, Republican President Donald Trump late last year gave Collins a shout-out on Twitter, saying he agrees “100%” that she is needed to retain the Republican majority in the Senate.
The race will also feature independent candidates Lisa Savage and Max Linn.