Collins says she's not running for governor, will stay in Senate

WMTW									SOURCE WMTW

There has been speculation for months on whether she would leave the Senate to run for the Blaine House.

Saying she believes she can do more good for Mainers by staying in the U.S. Senate, the 64-year-old Collins announced her decision on Friday at an event in Rockport. 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. Collins, first elected in 1996, is now serving her fourth term in the Senate. Gov. Paul R. LePage, a fellow Republican who is barred by term limits from seeking a third term, has been stirring the political pot against her. Ms. Collins, a moderate who has glided to victory in her recent elections, this time faced the likely prospect of bruising and expensive attacks from the right.

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Collins, who has served for two decades in the Senate, was part of the Gang of 14 bipartisan senators that prevented the so-called nuclear option by Senate Republicans over an organized use of the filibuster by Senate Democrats. She has called for "fanatical moderates" to serve as an antidote to extremes of both parties in Washington.

Collins grew up in Caribou, in far northern Maine. "I have demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle to build coalitions and to listen to the concerns of the people of my state, my country and my colleagues", Collins said. The only political race she lost was for governor, in 1994.

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Some of her supporters were anxious that leaving the Senate would have left Maine's pugnacious governor to appoint her replacement. She won her fourth. If she remains, she will not face reelection until 2020.

But a gubernatorial bid by Collins would also have been risky - the biggest threat coming from within her own party.

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