Susan Collins said Friday she has made a decision to stay in the Senate, where she is a moderate Republican swing vote, rather than running for governor in 2018.
Collins announced plans Friday that she will remain in the Senate, ending speculation that she would run for ME governor next year. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks at a news conference at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
Photo Senator Susan Collins of ME, a Republican who helped to block President Trump's promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Capitol Hill in September. Most famously, she played a crucial role this summer in dooming his goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Collins supported Republican presidential candidates until coming out against Donald Trump previous year.
After Collins refused to support Trump, LePage said she was "done in ME".
She would have joined a crowded field in the race for governor to replace two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who can not run again because of term limits, and her decision will likely free more gubernatorial candidates who have been waiting on the sidelines to enter the race. Collins, first elected in 1996, is now serving her fourth term in the Senate.
Collins isn't "done", but her standing with hard-line Republicans may be damaged.
But there is little question that LePage would have opposed her even though she twice lended her support in his bids to take, and keep, the governor's office. She also said she felt an affinity for Augusta, the capital, where a long line of ancestors served in the State Legislature, starting with her great-great grandfather and including her father.
She has won her last few elections handily. If she remains, she will not face reelection until 2020. She spoke of how she's proud of her time in the Senate, and how she felt as though she was able to represent ME well. State laws forbid LePage from seeking a third term.
Collins had postponed making her decision because those close to her said she was carefully giving thought to what would be best for Mainers.
LePage criticized Collins this year for saying Indiana's plan to expand Medicaid could be a model for Maine.