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GOP's Collins not running for governor in ME, will stay in Senate

13 October 2017

The pull of legacy and a chance to take the reins of state government were not enough to convince Republican U.S. Sen.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she will decide this week if she's running.

"This decision has not been an easy one", she said.

"I am a congenital optimist, and I continue to believe that Congress can - and will - be more productive", Collins added.

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She added, "I have concluded that the best way I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the Senate".

The announcement was met by a standing ovation from the audience of 230, almost double the previously most attended Chamber breakfast.

Speculation regarding a potential Collins gubernatorial run had swirled for months.

As she weighed the decision, Collins consistently sounded torn between her power in the Senate, as a senior Republican in the majority and a moderate whose vote is often courted by leadership in both parties, and the possibility of taking action as governor without the need for cooperation from fifty-plus other senators.

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The 64-year-old Collins made the announcement Friday morning at an event in Rockport. 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.

The Republican senator said she made her decision based on where she could do the most for ME and the country. Collins was one of three Republicans - along with Sens.

She's not afraid to buck her party.

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.

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But there is little question that LePage would have opposed her even though she twice lended her support in his bids to take, and keep, the governor's office.

GOP's Collins not running for governor in ME, will stay in Senate