Sen. Collins of ME to announce governor's race decision

Senator Susan Collins says she will not be running for Governor of ME anytime soon.

Collins made her long-awaited announcement at a Friday, Oct. 13 breakfast meeting of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce held at the Samoset Resort. Additionally, Collins would have control of the state bureaucracy, potentially using it and the bully pulpit of the governor's office to advance a policy agenda to work on initiatives that could improve Maine's economic outlook.

Collins has come under criticism from current Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) over her position on health care. She opposed two different efforts to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this year, citing the negative impact she believed the plans would have had on vulnerable Americans, particularly in Maine. Such a move would also send shock waves through the Senate, jeopardizing the GOP's chances of holding her seat after her term ends in 2020 and marking another defection from the senate Republican conference amid the populist uprising fueled by President Donald Trump and his allies.

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

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Collins isn't "done", but her standing with hard-line Republicans may be damaged. Prior to her announcement, she said she wanted to "heal ME", a comment read by some as a swipe at LePage's polarizing style.

She has won her last few elections handily. She spoke of how she's proud of her time in the Senate, and how she felt as though she was able to represent ME well. A shadowy poll from a Democratic firm in August said six in 10 likely primary voters disapproved of her. Republicans told the Bangor Daily News she'd have a hard time in a primary, although an internal poll showing Collins leading was leaked to a BDN columnist this month.

Maine's 2018 gubernatorial race could be a referendum on the legacy of LePage, whose administration slashed entitlement growth and touts a healthy state surplus.

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