Politics GOP's Collins not running for governor, will stay in Senate

16:16  13 october  2017
16:16  13 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Maine senator's departure could nix bridge between GOP, Dems

  Maine senator's departure could nix bridge between GOP, Dems Backers of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins say they wish they could clone the moderate Republican powerbroker from Maine who has been a crucial swing vote in Congress as Republicans struggle to deliver on President Donald Trump's legislative agenda.Collins says she will decide during the Senate's weeklong Columbus Day recess whether to stay in the Senate, where she has served for four terms, or again run for governor in Maine.

And a run by Collins for governor could eventually cost the GOP one of its last congressional A Governor Collins would leave centrists like Heitkamp even more lonely in the Senate . Manchin was the outlier among senators interviewed for this story, who hope that Collins will stay put.

As Collins weighs whether to run for governor , she is well aware of the influence she wields on key A leaked internal memo shows her in a strong position to win a GOP primary, despite Republican Gov. “If she stays [ in the Senate ], she’ s frustrated. She has a target on her back all the time.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is one of a handful of GOP centrists. © Robert F. Bukaty Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is one of a handful of GOP centrists. ROCKPORT, Maine — Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced on Friday that she's staying out of the governor's race because she believes she can do more good for Maine by staying in Washington.

"I am a congenital optimist. I continue to believe that Congress can, and will, be more productive," Collins said. "I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our nation, help our hardworking families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a troubled and violent world."

The 64-year-old Collins has been weighing for months whether she'd make a bigger impact in the Senate or by launching a bid to become the first woman to serve as Maine's governor. She is one of a handful of GOP centrists and decided she's needed in the U.S. Senate.

Collins: Trump's healthcare moves hurt 'vulnerable people'

  Collins: Trump's healthcare moves hurt 'vulnerable people' President Donald Trump's recent, aggressive actions on health care will make it harder for people to access care, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins warned on Sunday. "What the President is doing is affecting the ability of vulnerable people to receive health care right now," Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union."Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that could dismantle some of the rules around the Obamacare marketplaces, and the administration announced later the same day it would end subsidies geared toward helping low-income people afford care.

The scenario of Collins running and becoming governor sets up the question of who would be appointed to fill the remaining two years of her Senate term, which ends in 2020. Democrats Beg Susan Collins to Stay in the Senate . The Latest: White House holds out hope for GOP health bill.

Maine, (AP) Senator Susan Collins says she'll spend the week long Columbus Day recess deciding whether to stay in the U. S . Senate or run for Governor for Maine. And a run by Collins for governor could eventually cost the GOP one of its last congressional footholds in New England.

Her decision will likely free more gubernatorial candidates who have been waiting on the sidelines to enter the race.

Two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage cannot run again because of term limits.

Like President Donald Trump, LePage has been a polarizing leader. Collins said previously that she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together."

Speculation about Collins' political future has been swirling for more than a year in her home state, where the moderate remains popular even as the Maine GOP has become more conservative.

She has been a champion for those who want to hold Trump in check: She was one of three Republican senators who sunk the Senate health care bill pushed by his administration. She also serves key roles on the Appropriations Committee and the Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Collins urges Trump to back effort to restore health subsidy

  Collins urges Trump to back effort to restore health subsidy A key moderate Republican urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to back a bipartisan Senate effort to shield consumers from rising premiums after his abrupt decision to halt federal payments to insurers. "What the president is doing is affecting people's access and the cost of health care right now," said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has cast pivotal votes on health care in the narrowly divided Senate. "This is not a bailout of the insurers. What this money is used for is to help low-income people afford their deductibles and their co-pays.

ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) - The Latest on Susan Collins ' decision on whether to run for governor (all times local): 8:20 a.m. Republican Susan Collins says she' s staying out of the governor ' s race because she believes she can do more good for Maine by staying in the U. S . Senate .

Paul LePage, Maine' s current GOP governor who has been involved in a string of controversies, is term-limited. Under the state' s constitution, a Collins said during her interview on Tuesday that both positions, either remaining in the Senate or running for governor , would have their advantages.

The only Republican senator from New England has found herself among a dwindling number of GOP centrists like Arizona's John McCain who are willing to work across the aisle.

She's not afraid to buck her party. She introduced a bill to let transgender people serve in the military and opposed efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act without a replacement.

Collins, who has served for two decades in the Senate, was part of the Gang of 14 bipartisan senators that prevented the so-called nuclear option by Senate Republicans over an organized use of the filibuster by Senate Democrats.

Collins doesn't shy away from her role in the middle. She has called for "fanatical moderates" to serve as an antidote to extremes of both parties in Washington.

But her role has left her open to fire from both the right and the left.

And she's on the outs with Trump. She said she couldn't bring herself to vote for him, and she criticized him for failing to speak out more forcefully against racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism following the death of a woman at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump and McConnell set for frosty White House lunch

  Trump and McConnell set for frosty White House lunch President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are set for an interesting meeting at the White House on Monday. Trump blames the Kentucky Republican for the health overhaul failure. Trump hints at tantalizing deals with Democrats and watches his former strategist work from outside the administration to bulldoze the Republican establishment on Capitol Hill.There will be a chill in the air when Trump, a public official since January, and McConnell, first elected to Congress in 1984, sit down for lunch."Mitch McConnell's not our problem.

Collins told NEWS CENTER Wednesday she is still weighing the choice between staying in the Senate and seeking the Blaine House. She said people began talking to her about a possible run for Governor shortly after her Senate re-election in 2014.

«» Maine' s Republican senator has effectively killed the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare. Collins says she will decide during the weeklong Columbus Day recess whether to stay in the Senate or again run for governor in Maine.

Collins grew up in Caribou, in far northern Maine. The middle of six children learned the importance of hard work by age 10 while plucking potatoes from the dirt for 30 cents per barrel. The only political race she lost was for governor, in 1994.

She has won her last few elections handily. She was re-elected with 68.5 percent of votes in 2014, 61.3 percent in 2008 and 58.4 percent in 2002. Her current term ends in 2020.

Some of her supporters were worried that leaving the Senate would have left Maine's pugnacious governor to appoint her replacement. But Maine constitutional law expert Marshall Tinkle said she wouldn't have to resign to run and could pick her successor after being sworn in.

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. For all his successes, though, LePage is known for his bombastic leadership style.

McConnell on his personal unpopularity among GOP: I'm not on the ballot .
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he doesn't expect GOP candidates running for Senate to take a position on whether they will vote for the Kentucky Republican for majority leader in the future. 

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