Maine's Democratic Senate candidate Sara Gideon, who is running to unseat Republican Sen. Susan Collins, quietly erased a Patagonia logo from a jacket she wore in a campaign ad this week in what appears to be an apparent attempt to hide the fact that her chosen attire came from the competitor to Maine’s fifth-largest employer, L.L. Bean, according to the Washington Examiner.
Gideon’s original video was posted on Twitter Wednesday, where the logo of her $249 cobalt blue Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket was clearly visible. However, when reposted to sponsored Facebook ads, it is apparent that the iconography from the California-based brand was intentionally 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 in an attempt to encourage donors. Her campaign has not commented on the altered videos.
Gideon is a current speaker of the Main House of Representatives and is a prominent candidate in her party’s nomination for the 2020 election. She has been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, NARAL Pro-Choice America and political action committee EMILY’s List in June.
Although the support helped Gideon raise more than $1 million just six days after her announcement, the censoring of Patagonia’s logo may have been a tactic to avoid upsetting L.L. Bean fans.
The outdoor apparel and equipment company employs thousands in Maine, according to its careers website.
L.L. Bean co-owner, Linda Bean, faced criticism and boycotts when she donated to a PAC in 2017 that supports President Trump. During an appearance on FOX Business, Bean addressed the controversy and how she and other businesses owners had been victims of “bullying.” To those who called for a boycott in regard to her personal donation, Bean said it was simply “un-American.”
Trump publicly recognized Bean’s support on Twitter upon the backlash.
Gideon’s campaign also faced scrutiny earlier this month over admitted campaign finance violations. In a report by the Washington Free Beacon, her team allegedly breached election law when it used a corporate-funded state political action committee for reimbursement of her own political contributions to federal candidates.
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 told Maine Business Daily.
L.L. Bean and Patagonia did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment at the time of publication. The speaker's campaign did not return a request for comment from FOX Business.
This story has been corrected to reflect a headline change that the Patagonia logo was removed from the jacket, not L.L. Bean, and to cite the original source of the report which is the Washington Examiner.