Collins rules out ME governor's bid, will stay in Senate

Oct 15, 2017, 00:44
Collins rules out ME governor's bid, will stay in Senate

"I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our economy, help our hard-working families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a violent and troubled world".

Maine Republicans have touted their recent success at electing candidates to Congress, the governorship and the state Legislature, where the GOP maintains control of the Senate.

Collins told a group of business leaders in Rockland, on Maine's midcoast, that she believed she could accomplish more for the state in her current role.

Collins put an end to months of speculation when she made her announcement at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Friday morning.

U.S. Sen. Angus King says Susan Collins is putting the people of ME first by deciding to remain in the U.S. Senate rather than run for governor. As such, some of her Democratic colleagues went public with their hopes that she wouldn't make the jump back into state-level politics, like North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

Had she run and won the race for governor in 2018, she would have become the first woman in ME to hold the office.

On Friday, McConnell praised Collins for choosing to remain in the Senate, saying she "brings conviction, smarts and leadership to every issue".

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Collins has been in the Senate since 1996 and is in her fourth six-year term.

Collins was one of a couple of Republican Senators who voted against the reconciliation bills over the summer that would have defunded the Planned Parenthood abortion company.

Collins and LePage mark out the two poles of the state's Republican party, with the senator routinely working with Democrats in Washington while the governor has regularly fought with his rivals in the state capital Augusta. Since Mr. Trump became president, she has voted less often with her party than any other Republican senator. The election to replace him is in 2018.

Collins, 64, is one of just five women now serving among Senate Republicans, while the Democrats have 16 women serving.

Collins was one of three Republican senators who sunk the Republican Senate health care bill.

"As a strong supporter of Susan Collins, if I had to pick which job she would do, I couldn't", said Lance Dutson, a Republican political operative in Maine who worked on Collins' 2014 campaign.

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