Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon easily won the state Democratic Party\u0026#039;s nomination for Senate Tuesday, setting up a contest with incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins in a race that is expected to garner nationwide attention as which party controls the Senate after November\u0026#039;s general election is increasingly in question.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022The needs of Mainers are not being met right now and people desperately feel they need to be represented in a different way,\u0022 Gideon told the\u0026nbsp;Portland Press Herald in an interview after her victory Tuesday night.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBye bye @SenatorCollins. After today\u0026#039;s primary, Mainers are turning 100% of their attention towards you.\r\n\r\nDonate: https://t.co/exJwOurHUK https://t.co/wsmcWq07jp\r\n— Ady Barkan (@AdyBarkan) July 14, 2020\r\n\r\n\r\nGideon received 69% of the vote Tuesday, beating out opponents Betsy Sweet and Bre Kidman. In remarks delivered via Facebook Live to supporters, the speaker looked to the general election fight and referred to Collins as out of touch with Mainers and a tool of the GOP establishment in Washington.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022Senator Collins has changed, and Mainers deserve better,\u0022 said Gideon. \u0022Mainers deserve a senator who will bring people together to overcome the challenges we face.\u0022\r\n\r\nMarie Follayttar, director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, told\u0026nbsp;Common Dreams that Collins\u0026#039; record in the Senate has led to poor outcomes for the people of Maine, especially during the pandemic, charging that the senator is part of the same destructive GOP cabal led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump.\r\n\r\n\u0022Senate Republicans under McConnell\u0026#039;s control and aided by Susan Collins chose to pack our courts with extreme anti-choice judges rather than bring the HEROES Act to a vote and address the economic and healthcare needs of the people they represent during a pandemic,\u0022 said Follayttar. \u0022Eviction day looms alongside the end of a $600 pandemic unemployment assistance and Mainers are at risk for losing their housing, their jobs and their health due to the incompetent management of a pandemic.\u0022\r\n\r\nFollayttar also ripped the Collins campaign and allied dark-money groups for their onslaught of negative ads against Gideon.\r\n\r\n\u0022Collins has launched her dirtiest campaign ever by engaging in gutter attacks rather than offering a vision and demonstrating that she has led on issues Mainers care about,\u0022 Follayttar said.\r\n\r\nIn the wake of Gideon\u0026#039;s primary victory, LGBTQ group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced it was backing the Democratic speaker over Collins, the first time the organization has not endorsed Collins during the incumbent\u0026#039;s senatorial career.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAs the\u0026nbsp;Washington Post reported:\r\n\r\n\r\nTwo other influential liberal groups,\u0026nbsp;Planned Parenthood\u0026nbsp;and the\u0026nbsp;League of Conservation Voters, had already endorsed Gideon. But the HRC held back, in part, because Gideon\u0026#039;s more liberal primary opponents identified as bisexual and non-binary. The pro-LGBTQ Victory Fund had endorsed another Gideon opponent; in March, that candidate\u0026nbsp;ended his bid\u0026nbsp;and supported the front-runner.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe race is sure to attract national attention as Collins is seen as a weak incumbent who would lose her seat and possibly shift the balance of power in the Senate.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nFollayttar put the race in that broader context, telling\u0026nbsp;Common Dreams that Collins and Trump \u0022are beholden to their corporate donors, their power, and in turn, are responsible for the erosion of the group project that is our democracy.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022This Senate race is a battle to keep our republic and democracy from a racist autocrat emboldened by a senate acquittal for abuse of power against our country seeks to break it,\u0022 she continued. \u0022Mainers need to know that if we are to block another extreme conservative judge who will strip us of our civil rights that we need to elect Sara Gideon and reclaim the Senate majority.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We will fight every day to take back our senate seat and ensure Susan Collins never pretends to represent us again,\u0022 said Follayttar.