'Queer feminist mermaid' Dem aims for Senate seat of Maine's Susan Collins

A self-described “queer feminist mermaid” is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, prompted by Collins' vote last year that helped to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Bre Kidman, 31, is the first person to throw her name into the 2020 race for Collins’ Senate seat as Democrats, who initially warned of recruiting a strong candidate to run against the incumbent, so far haven't found a credible challenger.

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Collins took a political hit at home for voting to confirm Kavanaugh, seeing her approval rating decline temporarily after the vote. But she has since rebounded and her latest approval rating indicates that more than half of Maine residents support her, according to the Morning Consult.

Yet Kidman, a lawyer who was born female but doesn’t use feminine pronouns and instead prefers “they or their,” claims the senator can be defeated.

“Like all other politicians, whether or not they want to admit it, I’m a human being who has grown and changed over the years,” Kidman told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. “I am funny. I’m weird. I’m serious. I’m happy. I’m sad. I’m a lot of different things.”

“Like all other politicians, whether or not they want to admit it, I’m a human being who has grown and changed over the years. I am funny. I’m weird. I’m serious. I’m happy. I’m sad. I’m a lot of different things.”

— Bre Kidman, U.S. Senate candidate in Maine

“And I want to be in a culture where it’s OK to be a lot of different things and also take part in building what we as a country are.”

But Kidman’s social media posts are likely to be a hindrance for the campaign rather than an advantage. “Criminal defense attorney by day & radical fat queer/performance artist/model/musician/activist most other times,” the candidate’s Facebook reads.

On the website for the Maine Educationalists on Sexual Harmony (MESH), Kidman is labeled as a “queer feminist lawyer, mermaid, writer, activist, and artist,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

A poster for Democratic Senate hopefulBre Kidman’s performance art show earlier this year.

A poster for Democratic Senate hopefulBre Kidman’s performance art show earlier this year. (Facebook)

The Senate hopeful told the outlet that mermaid is “an artistic identity, not a serious identity … I'm a playful person, I'm not going to pretend I'm all serious all the time, because I'm not. I'm mermaid-esque in nature.”

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The work Kidman provided to MESH included teaching people about consent through a body-positive fashion show, and sex education through burlesque

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will be up for re-election in 2020. (Associated Press)

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will be up for re-election in 2020. (Associated Press)

“I'm not hiding them for a reason,” Kidman added. “All the work I've done has been in the interest of helping people make their life work better, and I don't think that's in contrast with a run for office.”

“I'm not hiding them for a reason. All the work I've done has been in the interest of helping people make their life work better, and I don't think that's in contrast with a run for office.”

— Bre Kidman

Kidman is currently working to raise funds for her campaign, hoping to collect at least a third of $500,000, the sum required to be competitive during the June 2020 Democratic primary. A meeting with the Democratic Party of Maine is also on the books regarding the candidacy.

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During the Kavanaugh saga in the Senate, a liberal group started a fundraiser to bankroll Collins' future opponent. The campaign so far raised nearly $3.8 million and will be awarded to the winner of the Democratic primary.

"I do think I can be competitive in the primary and the general, and party support would make it easier, which is why I decided to join the party system,” Kidman told the Free Beacon. “Maine is in a unique situation because a lot of people donated to a crowd-fund that will go to the Democratic nominee.”