News Worms
News Worms

Sen. Susan Collins rules out running for governor of Maine

Maine's senior USA senator, Republican Susan Collins, announced Friday, Oct. 13, that she will remain in the Senate and bypass a run for governor.

Maine's senior senator ended months of speculation about her interest in being Maine's next governor by telling 225 attendees at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce's quarterly business breakfast in Rockport this morning that she could do more good for ME by staying in Washington. She would have been the clear front-runner in a governor's race now filled with lesser-known candidates. She said the "hands-on" part of the job, as well as spending more time in Maine, "very much appeals to me". "She has been a champion for the state of Maine for more than two decades and I consider it a great privilege to serve with her - and to be her friend".

And that's that the Maine Republican Party still has faces the choice between being the party of Susan Collins and Bill Cohen or the party of Paul LePage and Donald Trump. 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. Ultimately, it appears to have been the environment in Washington that's convinced Collins to stay.

Meanwhile, Maine Republicans will battle over which path they pursue - the policy know-nothingism and extremism of LePage and Trump or the more measured, pragmatic center-right conservatism of Collins, Snowe and Cohen.

The audience applauded but still seemed uncertain of her decision, as she continued.

Collins' announcement still leaves a crowded GOP field of candidates who'll be running in next spring's primary to be the party's candidate on the November 2018 ballot.

As one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate, Collins' departure would have left a noticeable mark on the politics of the chamber.

Among other assignments, Collins is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the panel leading the congressional Russian Federation investigations.

Collins was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, and she has remained as one of Maine's representatives in Washington, D.C. since then. She is not up for re-election in the Senate until 2020.

Notwithstanding the fact that numerous reports indicated that there were elements of becoming Governor of ME that appealed to her, it's not entirely surprising that Collins made a decision to stay in the Senate and to seek re-election.

Amid a broader critique of the secretive process Republicans used in their failed attempts to repeal Obamacare earlier this year, Collins decried that "the Senate Republican health care bills were drafted behind closed doors - by the way it was a group of 13 men who did it, but that's just another little issue". Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that she "fights fiercely for her constituents".

"In the Senate, I now have significant seniority, and that allows me to do a lot", she told Maine's WGAN radio at the time. With all that going for it, it's not hard to see why Collins would decide to stick with a sure thing rather than rolling the dice on a Gubernatorial bid.


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