Senator Susan Collins Won't Run for Governor of Maine

NEWS CENTER's Pat Callaghan recently went to D.C. to talk to Collins about her decision-making process

After several months of open deliberations about her future, Senator Susan Collins of ME announced Friday that she would not run for governor and would remain in the Senate.

Collins plans to reveal her decision at a meeting of local business leaders in the city of Rockland.

Collins announced Friday that she was staying in Senate because she wants to help hardworking families and improve the health care system. As one of the few moderates in a closely divided Senate, she is often a swing vote, and, as she demonstrated during the health care debate, she can often influence the outcome of important legislation. On Friday, she said, "The hands-on nature of governor very much appeals to me".

The 64-year-old Collins has been weighing for months whether she'd make a bigger impact in the Senate or by launching a bid to become the first woman to serve as Maine's governor. She said she was "forever grateful" for her increasing support from ME residents. But she's not afraid to buck her own party: She introduced a bill to let transgender people serve in the military, and she opposed efforts to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act without a replacement.

If the Senator had made a decision to run, and won, she would have been Maine's first female Governor.

Senator Angus King issued a statement in part saying he knew how hard Collins' decision was and her announcement reflects her commitment to putting ME people first. Susan Collins' decision to stay in the U.S. Senate.

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Collins is one of a handful of GOP centrists and decided she's needed in Washington. Finally, given the narrow margin that the GOP now has in the Senate, Collins is an important voice that can't simply be ignored by Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP leadership.

Maine's Governor's office is next up for election in 2018, and a run for that office would have actually been Collins's second attempt at the job.

If Collins were to run, she would still remain in the Senate.

The four-term incumbent attracted national attention this summer as one of three Republican senators who voted in July against a bill to repeal the law often called Obamacare, a move that angered U.S. President Donald Trump.

King is a ME independent who caucuses with Democrats, and Collins is a Republican.

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