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Sen. Susan Collins won't run for governor, will remain in US Senate
14 October 2017, 12:26 | Darnell Patrick
A moderate Republican with vast influence over transportation funding affairs in the Senate announced her intention to seek another term in office and not pursue the governor's mansion in her home state of Maine. Leading pro-life groups had called on members of the Senate to pass the reconciliation bills that the House had already approved.
King is a ME independent who caucuses with Democrats, and Collins is a Republican.
Collins said her mother was urging her to stay in the Senate.
The Republican senator said she made her decision based on where she could do the most for ME and the country. Collins said previously that she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together". The 57-year-old Gorham business owner previously ran as an independent for ME governor in 2010.
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. Ultimately, it appears to have been the environment in Washington that's convinced Collins to stay.
"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.
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Collins made her long-awaited announcement at a Friday, Oct. 13 breakfast meeting of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce held at the Samoset Resort.
Collins ranks 15th in Senate seniority and is the most senior Republican woman. Collins won that race and has gone on to win re-election three times, most recently in 2014 when she was re-elected in a relative landslide. The governor has since used his weekly radio addresses and conservative radio appearances to berate Collins over her opposition to two controversial bills repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Collins has been in the Senate since 1996 and is in her fourth six-year term.
On Friday, Collins said that "getting health care reform right requires starting it right, with a commitment to public hearings, open negotiations, thoughtful and fact-based discussion, and a willingness to find common ground". This arguably gives her significantly leverage in that body and the ability to accomplish a lot for the nation and for her constituents.
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