Maine Sen. Susan Collins Announces She's Staying in US Senate

13 October, 2017, 16:02 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Sen. Susan Collins R-Maine speaks at a news conference at Bath Iron Works in Bath Maine. Collins said she will decide during the Columbus Day recess whether to stay in the U.S. Senate or again run for governor

Sen. Susan Collins of ME announced Friday that she will not run for governor in 2018, renewing her commitment to serve in a sharply polarized Senate where her centrist Republican positions have made her a key bulwark against much of President Trump's agenda.

Collins announced her plans at a local Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Rockport. Additionally, Collins would have control of the state bureaucracy, potentially using it and the bully pulpit of the governor's office to advance a policy agenda to work on initiatives that could improve Maine's economic outlook. She introduced a bill to let transgender people serve in the military and opposed efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act without a replacement.

She said that she will remain in the U.S. Senate.

Her announcement Friday served as a reaffirmation of her desire to continue in that instrumental role, at a time when a growing number of Republicans worry about stopping Trump from making controversial decisions with far-reaching consequences. That's different than one would have thought in 2014, as Gov. Paul LePage welcomed Collins to a food drive photo op just before the Election Day when he won his second term. Such a move would also send shock waves through the Senate, jeopardizing the GOP's chances of holding her seat after her term ends in 2020 and marking another defection from the senate Republican conference amid the populist uprising fueled by President Donald Trump and his allies. Her final decision, she said, came down to "my sense of where I can do the most for the people of Maine and for the nation".

Collins doesn't shy away from her role in the middle.

"I was 99th in seniority when I was sworn in", she said.

Now, the Republican field could grow: Former Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew of South China, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette of Newport and Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason of Lisbon Falls are the only ones running.

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