FILE - In this June 18, 2019 file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, center, arrives at the Capitol in Washington to extend her perfect Senate voting record to 7,000. National money is already flowing into Maine’s 2020 Senate race, offering the latest indicator that incumbent Collins faces a stiff reelection fight. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, is challenging Collins in the 2020 election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Outside money flows into race for Susan Collins' Senate seat

August 20, 2019 - 9:08 pm

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins hasn't officially announced whether she's seeking reelection. But that isn't stopping campaign dollars from pouring into Maine.

Observers predict the race will set a spending record in the state.

Advertising data shows Democrats plan to spend at least $1.2 million on ads through December. A newly formed GOP group, meanwhile, has $800,000 already in the bank, thanks to a small group of wealthy financiers.

Democrats have vowed to make Collins pay for her vote confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But it's unclear how Maine voters will respond to refighting her contentious vote for Kavanaugh — or to the flood of outside money.

Collins has at least two Democratic challengers: House Speaker Sara Gideon and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet.