Susan Collins says she won't run for ME governor in 2018

The pull of legacy and a chance to take the reins of state government were not enough to convince Republican U.S. Sen.

After several months of open deliberations about her future, Senator Susan Collins of ME announced Friday that she would not run for governor and would remain in the Senate.

Collins put an end to months of speculation when she made her announcement at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Friday morning.

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"I was guided by the central tenet of the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm", she said.

Collins' announcement was met with a standing ovation by the crowd.

Photo Senator Susan Collins of ME, a Republican who helped to block President Trump's promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Capitol Hill in September.

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Now, the Republican field could grow: Former Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew of South China, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette of Newport and Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason of Lisbon Falls are the only ones running. The election to replace him is in 2018.

Collins has been in the Senate since 1996 and is in her fourth six-year term. She was re-elected with 68.5 percent of votes in 2014, 61.3 percent in 2008 and 58.4 percent in 2002.

"I was 99th in seniority when I was sworn in", she said. She chairs the Senate Select Committee on Aging and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and also serves on the Intelligence Committee as well as the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, according to her office's web site. Collins said previously that she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together". While many people feel that she would easily win a general election, there are substantial questions regarding her ability to survive a crowded Republican primary. As one of the few moderates in a closely divided Senate, she is often a swing vote, and, as she demonstrated during the health care debate, she can often influence the outcome of important legislation.

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