Published Date Written by David Carkhuff
Erick Bennett, director of the Maine Equal Rights Center, announced he is challenging longtime incumbent Republican Susan Collins for the U.S. Senate.
For the first time going on 24 years of being in Washington, Collins has a primary challenger for U.S Senate, Bennett announced.
A recent WCSH 6 poll found that 68 percent of Republicans think Susan Collins should switch parties, he said.
"She is opposed to everything the Maine Equal Rights Center is doing and our three referendums for the 2014 ballot," said Bennett, "and these referendums are popular with Democrats and Republicans so this is speaking to a much larger issue."
The campaigns, Bennett said, "are designed to be an exercise in civics to engage the vast majority of voters who stay home because the issues they care about are not on the ballot. This race for U.S. Senate will allow us to engage those voters on the issues in the manner for which our system was designed."
Collins also faces a potential Democratic challenger in Shenna Bellows, former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine.
In May 2012, Bennett of Portland marked the official launch of the Maine Equal Rights Center, a group which sought unsuccessfully to defeat a gay marriage referendum that fall.
In the battle against a referendum to legalize gay marriage in Maine, Bennett, a political operative, invoked logical and secular arguments to make the case against gay marriage.
The referendum passed by 53 percent of the vote in Maine.