Sen. Susan Collins of ME, a moderate Republican who helped block her party's efforts to repeal Obamacare this year, said on Friday that she would not run for governor of her state next year, keeping her focus on Washington.
Collins plans to reveal her decision at a meeting of local business leaders in the city of Rockland. 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.
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.
U.S. Sen. Angus King says Susan Collins is putting the people of ME first by deciding to remain in the U.S. Senate rather than run for governor. She had also said she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together".
If the Senator had chose to run, and won, she would have been Maine's first female Governor.
Trump challenges Tillerson to battle of IQ tests over reported 'moron' jab
The Twitter rebuke revived rumours that Tillerson is unhappy at hs post, but he insists he has no intention of resigning. President Trump suggested he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should compare IQ tests in an interview out Tuesday.
Ultimately, it appears to have been the environment in Washington that's convinced Collins to stay. 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.
Collins said her mother was urging her to stay in the Senate.
King is a ME independent who caucuses with Democrats, and Collins is a Republican.
Collins, who like all Republicans in the Senate in 2009 voted against the sweeping healthcare legislation, said she believed urgent action was needed to improve it but criticized the way repeal efforts had been handled over the summer. Since Mr. Trump became president, she has voted less often with her party than any other Republican senator. "And I have concluded that the best way I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate".
Collins was one of three Republican senators who sunk the Republican Senate health care bill.