AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- U.S. Senator Susan Collins says she will decide sometime in September whether to run for Governor. A number of Republicans have been urging Collins to enter the race for the Blaine House, though she says it is a very difficult decision.
Collins ran for Governor in 1994 as the Republican nominee but lost a four-way race to independent Angus King. She was elected to the Senate two years later and is now serving her fourth term.
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.
Collins said she still likes being in the Senate, and that her seniority—currently ranked 15th—and committee assignments make her better able to help Maine. However, she said being Governor would be more “hands on” and she could help to make positive changes, particularly those to create more jobs. She said Maine residents, and others, are pushing in both directions.
“When I was in Ellsworth last night,” she said, “I had scores of people saying we really need you in the Senate, your voice is important for Maine and nationally. On the other hand, I have people come up to me every day saying we need strong leadership in Augusta, someone who can work with democrats and Republicans."
Collins said it’s a hard decision. She also acknowledged her status in the Senate, as one of the few moderate voices and a swing vote, cab be critical.
“And the work I do across the aisle is very important, perhaps more important than ever in some ways,“ Collins said.
The Senator said she hopes to spend next week at her camp on Cold Stream Pond and talk with family and key advisors about the choice she needs to make—something the Senator said she has not yet had time to do. Collins said she will decide whether to enter the race before the end of September.