Collins headlines Summers fundraiser in Readfield

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was the special guest at a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Charlie Summers earlier tonight in Readfield, the first in-state political fundraiser she’s headlined for Summers during the 2012 Senate race.

According to the Summers campaign, the event was expected to attract more than 100 supporters to the home of Donn and Linda Gifford. The invitation lists Collins as a special guest.

Maine House Speaker Robert Nutting, state Senate Majority Leader and First Congressional District candidate Jon Courtney, state Rep. Pat Flood of Winthrop and Attorney General William Schneider are listed as Host Committee members.

The invitation asks for a $100-per-guest contribution.

Collins has already supported Summers’ Senate bid financially through her Dirigo PAC, and Politico reported at the end of June that she attended a Washington, D.C., meet-and-greet with Summers at the headquarters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee earlier this summer.

As the Politico piece points out, Collins’ active support for Summers stands in stark contrast to her retiring Senate colleague, Olympia Snowe. Snowe has contributed to Maine’s two Congressional candidates, Courtney and Kevin Raye, from her campaign war chest, but Summers has notably not been among the beneficiaries.

Politico reported that Snowe hasn’t gotten over Summers’ decision not to endorse her in the GOP Senate primary, when she was still mulling a run for reelection. She told Politico not to expect to see her fundraising for Summers or accompanying him on the campaign trail.

Summers served as Snowe’s state director from 1995 to 2004.

So far, Summers has been trailing independent Angus King in the fundraising race. King had raised more than three times what any of his rivals had raised by the end of June. A new round of campaign finance reports at the end of the current quarter will reveal whether Summers is narrowing the gap, as his campaign claims he’s already doing in the polls.