Collins previously ran for governor in 1994, losing to now-Sen.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she will not run for ME governor and will stay in the U.S. Senate.
"This decision has not been any easy one".
Although she has been one of Maine's most popular politicians for some time, there was no guarantee that she would win her party's nomination in the June primary.
"The best way that I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate", Collins told the business crowd, capping a speech in which she described her role as a bipartisan figure on such issues as health care and national security in Washington.
The announcement was met by a standing ovation from the audience of 230, almost double the previously most attended Chamber breakfast.
Her announcement ends widespread speculation that the 20-year veteran of the Senate would return to ME and seek to finish her political career in the governor's mansion - a position denied to her in 1994 when she finished third in a five-way race.
Like President Donald Trump, LePage has been a polarizing leader.
Collins put an end to months of speculation when she made her announcement at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Friday morning.
In a much-anticipated announcement regarding her home state's governor race, Maine Sen. Additionally, Collins would have control of the state bureaucracy, potentially using it and the bully pulpit of the governor's office to advance a policy agenda to work on initiatives that could improve Maine's economic outlook.
She said that she will remain in the U.S. Senate.
Republicans are now trying for a sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws, which many of them hope will wash away some of the deep anger in the party after the health-care failure.
There are several Republicans already in the race to replace Governor Paul LePage when his term expires, including former Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, and Senator Majority Leader Garrett Mason.
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