Susan Collins decides not to run for governor of Maine, will stay in Senate

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill on October 3, 2017.

Aaron Bernstein / REUTERS

Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican, announced Friday that she will not run for governor of Maine and said she chooses to continue serving in the Senate.

"I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our nation," help families, improve the nation's health care system and bring peace and stability in a violent world," Collins told her constituents in Rockport, Maine. "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, 64, said that after she was re-elected to the Senate in 2014, many residents approached her urging her to run for governor. She said that the "hands-on nature" of governor appealed to her.

"Ultimately, I have been guided by my sense of where I could do the most for the people of Maine and for the nation," she said. "These are difficult times for our country and the Senate reflects the discord and division that characterize our nation today."

She mentioned that a Senate colleague had written her a note urging her to stay in the Senate. "As I thought about the senator's words, I realized how much needs to be done in a divided and troubled Washington," Collins recalled.

The GOP senator cast key votes in the fight over Obamacare this year, repeatedly defecting and joining Democrats in blocking repeal proposals from succeeding. She blasted President Trump for his efforts Thursday to dismantle the 2010 health care law through executive action.

Collins has served in the Senate since 1997. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.