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

16:16  13 october  2017
16:16  13 october  2017 Source:   ap.org

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.

Susan Collins said she' s staying out of the governor ' s race because she believes she can do more good for Maine by staying in Washington. She is one of a handful of GOP centrists and decided she' s needed in the U. S . Senate .

Collins said she will decide during the Columbus Day recess whether to stay in the U. S . Senate or again run for governor in Maine. She is one of a handful of GOP centrists and decided she’ s needed in the U. S . Senate .

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.

ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) Republican U. S . Sen. Susan Collins announced 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.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP. Sen. Susan Collins , R-Maine, is surrounded by reporters as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, before a test vote on the Republican health care bill. By David Sharp, Associated Press. Published Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 | 1 a.m. Updated Friday, Oct.

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.

Susan Collins announced Friday that she’ s staying out of the Maine governor ’ s race because she believes she can do more good for the state by staying in Washington. She is one of a handful of GOP centrists and decided she’ s needed in the U. S . Senate .

Susan Collins announced 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. She is one of a handful of GOP centrists and decided she' s needed in the U. S . Senate .

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.

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. Collins , 64, has been a consistent thorn in the side of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Republican U. S . Sen. Susan Collins announced 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.

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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