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Sen. Susan Collins won't run for governor, will remain in US Senate

13 October 2017, 04:05 | Taylor George

Mark Dion

Mark Dion

Susan Collins said Friday she has made a decision to stay in the Senate, where she is a moderate Republican swing vote, rather than running for governor in 2018.

Had she run and won the race for governor in 2018, she would have become the first woman in ME to hold the office.

LePage has repeatedly bashed Collins, declaring almost a year ago that "she's done in the Republican Party" because she refused to support Trump last year. "Ultimately I've been guided by my sense of where I can do the most good for Maine and the nation", she said.

Collins is seen as the most middle-of-the-road Republican in the Senate, willing to buck Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) when she disagrees with them.

In a much-anticipated announcement regarding her home state's governor race, Maine Sen.

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Contemplating whether to give up her seniority in the United States Senate and the influence it grants, has been a major factor in her decision.

She's not afraid to buck her party.

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.

The four-term incumbent for weeks had flirted publicly with the idea of launching a bid to succeed Governor Paul LePage, a fiery conservative who was first elected in 2010 on a wave of support from the populist Tea Party movement.

Maine's 2018 gubernatorial race could be a referendum on the legacy of LePage, whose administration slashed entitlement growth and touts a healthy state surplus. If she were to win, the governor at the time that she resigns her Senate seat would have the authority to appoint a successor to serve until next regular general election - November 2019. But Maine constitutional law expert Marshall Tinkle said she wouldn't have to resign to run and could pick her successor after being sworn in. Prior to her announcement, she said she wanted to "heal ME", a comment read by some as a swipe at LePage's polarizing style.



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