Decision by Collins does not put off war in the Maine GOP

Cheryl Sanders
October 13, 2017

She made her decision not to run as Maine's next governor after much deliberation, she said.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), speaking at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce's Business Breakfast in Rockport, ME, said that she will not be running for governor in 2018. "And I would try to heal the state and bring people back together, which I think is important as well".

She was one of a handful of Republican Senators who voted against a clean repeal of Obamacare last July, and the only Republican in the Senate to vote against a clean repeal of Obamacare in 2015, when it was just a symbolic gesture.

Like President Donald Trump, LePage has been a polarizing leader.

Even Collins' family members, many of whom still live in her hometown of Caribou, said they've been left in the dark regarding her decision.

She has been a champion for those who want to hold Trump in check: She was one of three Republican senators who sunk the Senate health care bill pushed by his administration.

But a gubernatorial bid by Collins would also have been risky - the biggest threat coming from within her own party. Additionally, Collins would have control of the state bureaucracy, potentially using it and the bully pulpit of the governor's office to advance a policy agenda to work on initiatives that could improve Maine's economic outlook. She opposed two different efforts to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this year, citing the negative impact she believed the plans would have had on vulnerable Americans, particularly in Maine.

Collins ranks 15th in Senate seniority and is the most senior Republican woman. State laws forbid LePage from seeking a third term.

The Republican senator said she made her decision based on where she could do the most for ME and the country.

Collins, 64, has the lowest Liberty Score of any elected Republican in Congress - voting with conservatives on key issues just 12 percent of the time.

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