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Sen. Collins to announce this morning whether she will run for governor

13 October 2017

Susan Collins, R-Maine, greeted members of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce at a Friday morning breakfast, October 13, and before the crowd of approximately 230 business owners, plus television film crews and reporters, she announced that she will not be campaigning for the state's governor's office this coming year. 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.

Speculation regarding a potential Collins gubernatorial run had swirled for months. 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 supported Republican presidential candidates until coming out against Donald Trump past year. The governor then hammered her in July after her first vote against a Republican health care bill, telling supporters she'd "back down" from running for governor if they rejected her.

Had Collins chose to run for governor she would have joined a crowded field to replace two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who can not run again because of term limits.

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Collins doesn't shy away from her role in the middle. She said she couldn't bring herself to vote for him, and she criticized him for failing to speak out more forcefully against racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism following the death of a woman at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. If she remains, she will not face reelection until 2020.

It all but guarantees that her mark on Maine's political history will be stamped in the Senate, where she'll have served for 24 years at the end of this term in 2021 - as long as Margaret Chase Smith, her idol, and longer than William Cohen, her predecessor and mentor. 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.

Sen. Collins to announce this morning whether she will run for governor