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Sen. Susan Collins Will Not Run for Governor of Maine

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Senator Susan Collins told reporters she enjoys being the

Senator Susan Collins says she will not be running for Governor of ME anytime soon.

Collins announced plans Friday that she will remain in the Senate, ending speculation that she would run for ME governor next year. 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 made her decision not to run as Maine's next governor after much deliberation, she said.

The governor has since used his weekly radio addresses and conservative radio appearances to berate Collins over her opposition to two controversial bills repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Since Mr. Trump became president, she has voted less often with her party than any other Republican senator.

Although she has been one of Maine's most popular politicians for some time, there was no guarantee that she would win her party's nomination in the June primary. 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.

Sen. Susan Collins Will Not Run for Governor of Maine
Sen. Susan Collins Will Not Run for Governor of Maine

Collins doesn't shy away from her role in the middle. 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. Her Senate term runs through 2020.

It all but guarantees that her mark on Maine's political history will be stamped in the Senate, where she'll have served for 24 years at the end of this term in 2021 - as long as Margaret Chase Smith, her idol, and longer than William Cohen, her predecessor and mentor.

Collins ranks 15th in Senate seniority and is the most senior Republican woman.

Maine's 2018 gubernatorial race could be a referendum on the legacy of LePage, whose administration slashed entitlement growth and touts a healthy state surplus.

LePage criticized Collins this year for saying Indiana's plan to expand Medicaid could be a model for Maine.

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