Collins says she's not running for governor, will stay in Senate

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Susan Collins, known as one of the last remaining "moderates" in the U.S. Senate, announced Friday that she will not run for governor of ME, ending months of speculation.

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.

"I know Susan's decision to continue serving Maine in the Senate was not an easy one and, not surprisingly, her announcement today reflects her commitment to putting Maine people first". Though she lost that race, she said she was still drawn to the ability of a governor to have a direct and immediate effect on people's lives by creating jobs and spurring economic development.

She put an end to months of speculation announcing she would not run for governor of Maine.

The 64-year-old Collins announced earlier Friday that she wouldn't be running for governor because she believes she can do more for ME by remaining in the U.S. Senate.

The four-term incumbent for weeks has been flirting publicly with the idea of launching a bid to succeed Governor Paul LePage, a fiery conservative who was first elected in 2010 on a wave of Tea Party support.

"She is at the very center of virtually every big policy debate and big vote in the U.S. Senate", said Mark Brewer, professor of political science at the University of Maine. Since Mr. Trump became president, she has voted less often with her party than any other Republican senator. She said a Senate colleague, whom she did not identify, had written her a note urging her to stay in the Senate.

Like President Donald Trump, LePage has been a polarizing leader.

The 64-year-old Collins made the announcement Friday morning at an event in Rockport. LePage has spent much of 2017 hammering Collins back home for opposing the GOP line on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, opening her up to a Republican primary.

Ten Democrats, two Green independents, a Libertarian, and an unenrolled candidate have also filed paperwork with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

Independents are a powerful force in ME politics, with Collins' Senate counterpart, Angus King, one of only two independents in the chamber.

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