Susan Collins Forgoes Bid For Maine Governor, Will Run For Re-Election Instead

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Collins said previously that she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together". For a time, it seemed like that number might shrink even further on the GOP side of the aisle, as Collins was widely rumored to be considering a run for ME governor in 2018, aiming to replace the hyper-controversial Paul LePage.

Collins and LePage mark out the two poles of the state's Republican party, with the senator routinely working with Democrats in Washington while the governor has regularly fought with his rivals in the state capital Augusta.

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.

Republican Susan Collins says she's staying out of the governor's race because she believes she can do more good for ME by staying in the U.S. Senate. She said a Senate colleague, whom she did not identify, had written her a note urging her to stay in the Senate. A four-term Republican from the state of Maine, Collins has emerged as one of the essential congressional backstops in the Trump era, casting absolutely pivotal votes in opposition to the GOP's fervent efforts to repeal, replace, and dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

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

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Collins put an end to months of speculation when she made her announcement at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Friday morning.

Maine's Governor's office is next up for election in 2018, and a run for that office would have actually been Collins's second attempt at the job. She says while she's confident she could have won a Republican Primary, her place is in the Senate.

Collins, 64, is popular in the state, having won re-election in 2014 with 68 percent of the vote.

Collins plans to reveal her decision at a meeting of local business leaders in the city of Rockland. Behind the scenes, Collins is reportedly among a small group of Senators still engaged in the seemingly hopeless task of trying to find a bipartisan solution to current problems with health insurance and healthcare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is praising Maine Sen. 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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