Sara Gideon of Freeport, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, talks with Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson, center, and jail administrator Jeff Chute at the Androscoggin County Building in Auburn on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — When Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson mentioned Friday that it helps to have a U.S. senator have a local office, Democratic candidate Sara Gideon wasted no time promising to keep one in Lewiston.

Sara Gideon of Freeport, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, talks with Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson and jail administrator Jeff Chute at the Androscoggin County Building in Auburn on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Absolutely,” Gideon said.

It was perhaps the only guarantee she made during an hourlong visit with Samson during which they talked about a wide range of issues facing law enforcement, jails and the people who wind up behind bars.

Gideon, the state House speaker from Freeport, is hoping to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who has been in office since winning an open seat in 1996. There are two independents also in the running in the Nov. 3 election: retired Solon educator Lisa Savage and Bar Harbor businessman Max Linn.

Gideon said she is focused on the campaign. But, she said, she is certain she would leave a senate office in Lewiston.

Collins has district offices in Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, Caribou, Lewiston and Portland.

Her counterpart, two-term U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, maintains district offices in Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford and Presque Isle.

In her talk with the sheriff, Sampson indicated that he would like to see more help for medical coverage for jail inmates who need assistance with mental health, substance abuse and other health-related issues. Gideon said she agreed with him and promised to look into the issues to see how she could assist.

Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson, center, raises a concern during a conversation with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon of Freeport, second from left, at the Androscoggin County Building in Auburn on Friday. Androscoggin County Jail administrator Jeff Chute is at right. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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