Sara Gideon, a Democrat running to unseat Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, released a campaign ad this week in which she appeared to hide the fact that her jacket came from a competitor to the state’s fifth-largest employer.
Gideon posted the video on Twitter Wednesday, wearing a purple coat from Patagonia — a competitor to the Maine-founded L.L. Bean. The Washington Examiner reported that when the same video appeared in Facebook ads on Thursday, the Patagonia logo was apparently removed.
“Chip in now to help us keep this momentum going so we can beat Susan Collins and elect a senator who puts Maine first,” Gideon says in the ad. Her campaign has not commented on the apparently altered videos.
Gideon, the current speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, is the most prominent candidate seeking her party’s nomination for the 2020 election, having been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Although she quickly raised more than $1 million in just six days of announcing, the logo censor might have been a way to avoid offending fans of L.L. Bean.
President Trump publicly recognized the company’s co-owner, Linda Bean, after she faced a boycott over her decision to donate to a PAC supportive of him. Bean responded by blasting the boycott as “un-American.”
“Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage,” Trump tweeted in January of 2017. “People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean. @LBPerfectMaine.”
The company previously said it didn’t “endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions.” “Simply put, we stay out of politics,” a message from Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman read.
Gideon has also faced scrutiny over admitted campaign finance violations. The Democrat allegedly violated election law by using a corporate-funded state political action committee to reimburse her own political contributions to federal candidates, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Maine Republican Party has called for a probe into the issue. “She’s blaming incorrect guidance and all these other things, but she’s been running for office since 2012 and she has negotiated and worked on campaign finance bills even at the state level,” Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage reportedly said.
Gideon has also received endorsements from two major pro-choice organizations — NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List — and targeted Collins over her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“After decades in DC, Susan Collins stands with corporate special interests, taking over a million dollars from drug and insurance companies and voting to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court,” a post on her site reads.
Fox News’ Lukas Mikelonis contributed to this report.