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Protesters greet Sara Gideon in return to Maine State House

Speaker Sara Gideon (right) was greeted by protesters in her return to the Maine State House on Wednesday.

AUGUSTA – After several months of raising money around the country with some of the most prominent liberal politicians in several states, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon returned to the State House to protesters in the hallways that wanted to speak with her.

Armed with signs such as “Speaker of the Swamp” and another highlighting several House Democrat scandals on her watch that critics said she ignored or mishandled, a group of Mainers waited nearly two hours for Speaker Gideon to emerge from the Senate President’s office.

When she did decide to traverse the hallway from Senate President Troy Jackson’s office to her own, Speaker Gideon said nothing, ignoring questions about her position on impeachment and reports of her most recent fundraising trip to her home state of Rhode Island.

A video posted on Twitter by Nina McLaughlin shows Gideon walking quickly past the protesters and ducking into her office with a staffer.

Gideon ignored questions about the current impeachment process and why she was raising money in her home state of Rhode Island.

Gideon’s supporters have often attacked others for receiving donations from donors out of state, but according to an analysis of Gideon’s latest finance report, 81% of her donations came from donors outside Maine.

“Sara Gideon has no choice but to emerge from her ‘windowless basement’ and grow on her record of failure,” said RNC Spokesperson Nina McLaughlin.

McLaughlin’s reference was to a National Review article that showed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer telling a candidate he wanted them in a windowless basement raising money for 16 months so they could spend 80% of the money on negative ads.

Gideon’s notable absence from public view aside from occasional appearances at partisan events and fundraisers out of state has drawn many comparisons to Schumer’s “windowless basement” strategy.

Even those awaiting Gideon’s arrival for the Legislative Council meeting she was in Augusta to attend as Vice Chair had to wait. The council meeting started nearly an hour later than scheduled after Gideon lingered in the Senate President’s office, then in her own office, as protesters waited.

During the meeting, which was to consider nearly 400 pieces of new legislation for the upcoming session, Gideon seldom said word, occasionally seconding a motion from a colleague and mostly casting her votes in silence.

“While Gideon continues to lay low and dodge questions from Mainers, the elephant in the room remains: does Sara Gideon support the impeachment witch hunt, or does she support working with the President to make progress for Mainers? At the end of the day she can’t have both,” said McLaughlin.

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