McConnell praises Collins for staying in Senate

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

15 October, 2017

U.S. Senator Susan Collins of ME, a moderate Republican who helped block her party's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act this year, said she planned to remain in her current office rather than run for governor.

The announcement was met by a standing ovation from the audience of 230, almost double the previously most attended Chamber breakfast.

Collins announced Friday that she was staying in Senate because she wants to help hardworking families and improve the health care system.

She's been a consistent thorn in the side of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as her willingness to go her own way has left him short of votes on key bills, most prominently his efforts to repeal the 2010 health law.

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

She says her seniority in the senate weighed heavily on her decision, the Senator now ranked 15th among 100 Senators. "She puts other states ahead of the people she is supposed to represent". She ran for governor in 1994, losing to King.

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Collins is Maine's senior U.S. Senator, having held her seat as a Republican since 1997.

Collins said her mother was urging her to stay 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.

Her announcement was welcomed by supporters who view her as an important check on President Donald Trump, with whom she was at odds on the GOP's health care proposals. Since Mr. Trump became president, she has voted less often with her party than any other Republican senator.

Senator Susan Collins addressed a crowd at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce's quarterly breakfast this morning and answered a question she has been asked for months, "I have concluded that the best way that I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate".

The pro-abortion Republican senator who sabotaged a bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business will remain in the Senate.

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