More than five months after her impeachment vote, Republican Sen. Susan Collins has been rebuked by members of her own party in Kennebec County, home to the state capital.
The Kennebec County Republican Committee, still angry at Collins for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, voted this week at a special meeting to censure her, the Kennebec Journal reported. Republican committee members in two other counties, Piscataquis and Aroostook, previously cast similar votes.
The vote was only symbolic but “was an important step to re-engaging local voters who by and large are very hurt and frustrated with Senator Collins for not supporting even moderate Republican positions,” said Helen Tutwiler, chair of the Kennebec County Republicans.
Despite three county votes, Collins enjoys broad support from constituents. The state GOP committee voted overwhelmingly against rebuking her, and she easily won her November election in the costliest political race in Maine history.
The senator “appreciates the strong grassroots support she has all over the state, as is indicated by the fact that she carried 85% of Maine’s communities in last fall’s election, including Kennebec County, which she won by more than 16 points,” said her spokesperson, Annie Clark.
Roger Katz, a former Republican state senator representing part of Kennebec County, said GOP activists within the party are pushing an extreme agenda that threatens to turn off more people.
“Although I am sure Sen. Collins will take the high road, this censure is a slap in the face to her, who as recently as [Thursday] was a key Republican negotiator on a bipartisan infrastructure plan that will provide a big shot in the arm to Maine,” he said.