Maine's senior U.S. Sen.
Susan Collins to run for ME governor.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins of ME, a moderate Republican who helped block her party's efforts to repeal Obamacare this year, said on Friday that she would not run for governor of her state next year, keeping her focus on Washington.
The most liberal Republican in the U.S. Senate may soon be on her way out the door.
"This decision has not been any easy one.
And I have concluded that the best way that I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate", Collins said.
The announcement was met by a standing ovation from the audience of 230, almost double the previously most attended Chamber breakfast.
Ending months of speculation about her political future, Collins, who does not face reelection until 2020, opted to stick with the job she has held for the last two decades, even as other moderate GOP lawmakers including Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.) and Sen.
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.
The 64-year-old Collins made the announcement Friday morning at an event in Rockport.
Collins, speaking at a hotel in Rockland, Maine, prefaced her announcement with a lengthy speech about health care and lamented the effect of "hyper-partisanship" in Congress on health care ever since Democrats first passed the Affordable Care Act.
Collins grew up in Caribou, in far northern Maine. Collins was one of three Republicans - along with Sens.
But a gubernatorial bid by Collins would also have been risky - the biggest threat coming from within her own party.
She would join a crowded field in the race for governor to replace two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who can not run again because of term limits.
And many Mainers have strong opinions about what Collins should do.
Photo Senator Susan Collins of ME, a Republican who helped to block President Trump's promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Capitol Hill in September.
A Collins governorship could have arguably reversed that trend. For all his successes, though, LePage is known for his bombastic leadership style.