Sen. Collins to remain in US Senate

Gorham businessman to seek Republican nomination for governor

Collins, who like all Republicans in the Senate in 2009 voted against the sweeping healthcare legislation, said she believed urgent action was needed to improve it but criticized the way repeal efforts had been handled over the summer. The work she does for ME - while rarely easy and often understated - is a reflection of her work ethic and her infinite energy to serve the people of our state.

Maine's senior U.S. Sen. "Ultimately I've been guided by my sense of where I can do the most good for Maine and the nation", she said. They include former Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew, Maine House Minority Leader Ken Fredette and Maine Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason.

Collins' independence makes her an increasingly powerful player in Washington, one veteran ME political observer said.

U.S. Senator Susan Collins of ME, a moderate Republican who helped block her party's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act this year, said she planned to remain in her current office rather than run for governor. "As I thought about this senator's words, I realized how much remains to be done in a divided and troubled Washington if we are to serve the people of our states", she said.

Many have speculated for months as to whether Collins would run for governor in 2018, amid increasing political polarization and a short list of accomplishments in the Senate this year.




Her decision Friday will likely free more gubernatorial candidates who have been waiting on the sidelines to enter the race. She said she's "very concerned" about the executive order President Trump signed on Thursday that will destabilize Affordable Care Act exchanges by allowing healthy people to purchase cheaper plans that are less comprehensive. 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.

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.

Collins made her announcement Friday, October 13 at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce's quarterly business breakfast.

Ms. Collins, a Republican who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, has become a thorn in the side of President Trump, for whom she did not vote.

Last year, Collins announced she would not vote for Donald Trump in the presidential election, and she has been critical of the president in the past.

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