Collins declines gubernatorial bid, says she will stay in the Senate

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

Maine's GOP gubernatorial primary is expected to become more heated after Republican U.S. Sen.

She said, "I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our nation, help our hard working families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a troubled and violent world".

Collins has been a pivotal vote in the Senate this year on defeating Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Collins told a group of business leaders in Rockland, on Maine's midcoast, that she believed she could accomplish more for the state in her current role.

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A popular figure in Maine, Collins has previously spoken about the appeal of serving as governor, a job that would allow her to "work more directly on job creation". She said a Senate colleague, whom she did not identify, had written her a note urging her to stay in the Senate. She had also said she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together". If she were to win, the governor at the time that she resigns her Senate seat would have the authority to appoint a successor to serve until next regular general election - November 2019.

Now in her fourth term in Washington, she ranks 15th among the 100 senators in seniority and appears to be at the height of her power.

If there's one person in Washington who's demonstrated a willingness to buck the leadership of her own party, it's Sen.

After signing the order, Trump then advised the Democrats to come to the table and cut a deal with him, making it fairly clear that the entire effort ― despite the hugely negative effect it might have on many people's health and lives ― is part of the president's ongoing negotiating strategy.

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The 64-year-old Collins plans to announce her decision on Friday at an event in Rockport.

Mark Brewer, University of Maine Political Science Professor says, "Where she is right now in the United States Senate is the absolute central position".

King is a ME independent who caucuses with Democrats, and Collins is a Republican.

Independents are a powerful force in ME politics, with Collins' Senate counterpart, Angus King, one of only two independents in the chamber.

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"Senator Collins is so busy trying to stop President Trump's agenda on the national stage, she is out of touch with her own state", LePage said in a radio address last week.

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