On Oct. 13, Senator Susan Collins announced that she would not run in the 2018 Maine gubernatorial election. Collins will remain in the Senate until she is up for re-election in 2020.
The announcement came as a relief to both those who support her work in Senate as well as to candidates who worried about contending with Collins’ 67 percent approval rating.
Collins was celebrated for her decision by colleagues in Washington.
“Her decision to remain in the Senate is important not only for the people of Maine, who she serves so well, but for the nation as a whole,” Senator Mitch McConnell said.
As a senator, Collins has more power nationally than if she became governor. Collins has shown little fear of exercising this power, most notably in July and September when she sided with Senator John McCain and Senator Lisa Murkowski to block GOP healthcare overhauls.
In her announcement, Collins described the partisanship over healthcare reform, stating that some Democrats refuse to work on obvious flaws in Obamacare, while some Republicans refuse to recognize the benefits the bill has brought since it was passed in 2010.
“One of the reasons that there is partisan divide about the ACA is that the bill was passed without a single Republican vote… One of the reasons I opposed the Affordable Care Act was because there was nothing ‘affordable’ about it. Neither the ACA nor the Republican ‘repeal and replace’ plans tackled the underlying issue of escalating healthcare costs,” Collins said a speech found on her website.
Collins explained that she felt the need to retain the power she holds as one of the Senate’s most senior members. She has served four terms since she was elected in 1996.
“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. 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,” Collins said.