Sen. Collins to remain in US Senate

Mark Dion

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. "You are such a person'".

There has been speculation for months on whether she would leave the Senate to run for the Blaine House.

Independents are a powerful force in ME politics, with Collins' Senate counterpart, Angus King, one of only two independents in the chamber.

Collins was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, and she has remained as one of Maine's representatives in Washington, D.C. since then.

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"I am a congenital optimist, and I continue to believe that Congress can - and will - be more productive. Ultimately I've been guided by my sense of where I can do the most good for Maine and the nation", she said.

Collins has been a pivotal vote in the Senate this year on defeating Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Two years later, Collins managed to win the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by William Cohen, who went on to become Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton. She also slammed her GOP colleagues for drafting bills to repeal and replace the ACA behind closed doors over the summer.

When it comes to Rep. Poliquin, he's essentially in the latter camp of LePage and Trump, but less overtly when it comes to rhetoric and willingness to stand up for ideas in public.

On Friday, Collins said she started getting approached by residents asking her to run for governor after her reelection to the Senate in 2014.

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Collins had postponed making her decision and told reporters she had not made up her mind until two days prior to making her announcement. LePage has spent much of 2017 hammering Collins back home for opposing the GOP line on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, opening her up to a Republican primary.

She prefaced her morning remarks by commenting on the importance of bipartisanship, and national health care systems. Gov. Paul R. LePage, a fellow Republican who is barred by term limits from seeking a third term, has been stirring the political pot against her. Ms. Collins, a moderate who has glided to victory in her recent elections, this time faced the likely prospect of bruising and expensive attacks from the right.

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

Among other assignments, Collins is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the panel leading the congressional Russian Federation investigations.

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