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Maine’s Susan Collins Weighing 2018 Gubernatorial Bid

The four-term senator is considering where she can do ‘the most good’

Maine Sen. Susan Collins may run for governor in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File photo)
Maine Sen. Susan Collins may run for governor in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File photo)

There’s been no shortage of speculation that Maine Sen. Susan Collins would run for governor in 2018. But she addressed the subject head-on in an interview with WGAN radio Tuesday morning. 

“Let me say that I am looking at where I can do the most good for the people of Maine,” said Collins, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald. “In the Senate I now have significant seniority and that allows me to do a lot,” she said. 

Collins serves on the Appropriations, Select Intelligence and Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committees. She recently spearheaded a letter to Senate leadership urging them to preserve the legislative filibuster.

“Coming to be governor, if I were fortunate enough to be elected … you can work on issues I care a lot [about] like economic development, jobs, education. And I would try to heal the state and bring people back together, which I think is important as well,” she said.

Current Gov. Paul LePage, who’s serving his second term, has been a source of controversy for the Pine Tree State. 

If elected, Collins would be the first female governor of Maine. But she remains undecided about running.

“I really don’t have a timetable for making a decision,” Collins said in a phone interview. “I have been extraordinarily busy as we have started this new session and I answered honestly a question that I was asked this morning about my plans. And the honest answer is I simply haven’t’ decided. I don’t know what I’m going to do. What I am trying to evaluate is where I can do the most good for the people of Maine.”

Collins is up for re-election to the Senate in 2020. She won her 2014 re-election by nearly 40 points. Should Collins decide to run for governor and resign her Senate seat, LePage would appoint a replacement until the 2020 election. 

Collins ran for governor in 1994, losing out to now Independent Sen. Angus King. The state’s junior senator is up for re-election next year. 

Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

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