WASHINGTON — In a letter emailed to her supporters this morning, Senator Susan Collins officially announced her intention to seek re-election to the United States Senate.
In it, Collins wrote in her email, “I promised the people of Maine a decision this fall on whether I would seek reelection. The fundamental question I had to ask myself in making my decision was this: in today’s polarized political environment, is there still a role for a centrist who believes in getting things done through compromise, collegiality, and bipartisanship? I have concluded that the answer to this question is “yes,” and I will, therefore, seek the honor of continuing to serve as Maine’s United States Senator."
The Maine Democratic Party issued a statement Wednesday morning in response to Sen. Collins' campaign announcement, saying in part: "Senator Collins has shown she will put first what the special interests and big pharmaceutical companies want -- even if that hurts Mainers. We deserve a Senator who puts our state and our families first by fighting for affordable health care, securing pre-existing conditions coverage and protecting our environment."
Here is the full text of Sen. Collins' letter:
“Growing up in Aroostook County, I learned to work hard and to serve others. My parents set the tone, with their commitment to our 5th generation family business and with their devotion to public service.
My father served in the State Senate, as did his father and grandfather before him, and my mother was Mayor of Caribou and Chairman of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. Their commitment to public service helped inspire me to run for the United States Senate.
As Maine's Senator, I have had a number of important legislative successes that have benefited our state and the nation. One of my first major legislative accomplishments was when I teamed up with Senator Dick Durbin to repeal a $50 billion tax break for big tobacco companies. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I worked with Senator Joe Lieberman to make our country safer by enacting the most sweeping changes to our intelligence agencies since World War II. As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, I have authored laws to lower the cost of prescription drugs and to better protect and improve the lives of older Americans. And, since joining the Senate Appropriations Committee ten years ago, I have helped secure more than $560 million to improve Maine’s roads, bridges, airports, and seaports.
Just this week, Senator Doug Jones and I secured a victory for military families by repealing what's commonly referred to as the “widow’s tax,” an unfair offset that reduces benefits for surviving military spouses whose loved ones were killed serving our country or who died of service-connected illnesses. Another important effort I've led with Senator Tina Smith addresses the alarming public health threat caused by Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses – and is on the verge of becoming law.
One reason why I have been able to pass so many laws is because of the bipartisan, commonsense approach I learned growing up in Maine. For the past six years, I have been ranked the most bipartisan member of the Senate.
Another reason I have been effective is because of the Maine work ethic that I learned as a child. In Maine, we show up for work every day. I have never missed a roll call vote – yesterday I cast my 7,234th consecutive vote.
I promised the people of Maine a decision this fall on whether I would seek reelection. The fundamental question I had to ask myself in making my decision was this: in today’s polarized political environment, is there still a role for a centrist who believes in getting things done through compromise, collegiality, and bipartisanship?
I have concluded that the answer to this question is “yes,” and I will, therefore, seek the honor of continuing to serve as Maine’s United States Senator.
To say that these are difficult and contentious times is most certainly an understatement. But our country has confronted much more challenging times in our history. Seventy-five years ago this week, U.S. forces were engaged in one of the most consequential battles of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge. American soldiers – including my father – courageously fought back, ensuring victory for the Allies.
That generation found ways to solve the challenges of their era, and I believe that we can as well. My commitment to you remains strong, and I am as determined as ever to keep bringing people together, to speak out for the values that unite our great country, and to deliver results for Maine and America.”