Susan Collins challenger Sara Gideon cruises to victory in Maine Democratic Senate primary

For months, Maine’s Democratic state House Speaker Sara Gideon has been running a general election-type Senate challenge against longtime GOP Sen. Susan Collins.

Now it’s official that she will face off against Collins come November.

The Associated Press projected Gideon the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic Senate primary in Maine, as early unofficial vote totals showed the House Speaker was far ahead of her more progressive rivals, lobbyist Betsy Sweet and lawyer Bre Kidman.

Gideon — who has the backing of national Democrats and who scored eye-popping fundraising hauls — will now concentrate 100 percent of her efforts to oust Collins, a moderate who’s considered one of the most endangered Republicans running for reelection this year.

The GOP currently holds the Senate by a 53-47 majority. But Republicans are defending 23 of the 35 seats up for grabs in November, with more than half a dozen GOP incumbents facing challenging reelections bids.

Gideon quickly took to Twitter on Tuesday night and wrote: “We did it! Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign to elect a senator who will fight for Mainers—not special interests. Onward to November!”

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