Maine Senator Susan Collins Decides Not to Run for Governor and Remain in the Senate:  Bless Her!

Dear Commons Community,

Maine Senator Susan Collins announced yesterday that she will not run for governor of her home state and instead will remain in the U.S. Senate.  This is exceptionally good news because as a moderate Republican she has bucked President Trump as well as her party’s ultra-conservative wing.  As reported by the New York Times:

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

Her decision leaves in place a moderate Republican who is a swing vote; she has stood against President Trump’s agenda more than any other Republican senator and is likely to maintain a role as his foil.

In Maine, her decision, which had been a matter of much public debate here in recent weeks, could open the floodgates for additional candidates to enter an already crowded field in the 2018 election for governor — a race in which Ms. Collins was seen as a heavy favorite though was not assured of winning the primary. Her decision also brings relief to Democrats in this state, who saw Ms. Collins as a popular candidate who appealed to independents and would have made it hard for them to win a governor’s seat that has been in the hands of Republicans since 2011.

“I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our economy, help our hard-working families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a violent and troubled world,” Ms. Collins told a packed breakfast meeting here. “And I have concluded that the best way that I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate.”

Her decision to stay runs counter to that of a number of other congressional Republicans who, frustrated by Washington’s dysfunction, have announced their retirements. Calling herself an optimist, Ms. Collins declared: “I continue to believe that Congress can, and will, be more productive.” She faces re-election in 2020 if she seeks a fifth Senate term.

Ms. Collins, 64, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, has become a thorn in the side of Mr. Trump, for whom she did not vote. Most famously, she played a crucial role this summer in dooming his goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“This will be bad news for Donald Trump,” said Stuart Rothenberg, a veteran political analyst for Inside Elections  Inside Elections  With Nathan L. Gonzales, a nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes campaigns. But, he said, it was good news for those on Capitol Hill “who are looking for dispassionate, pragmatic leadership and for members willing to cross party lines on important votes.”

Thank you Senator Collins.  The country needs you in the Senate.


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