After several months of open deliberations about her future, Senator Susan Collins of ME announced Friday that she would not run for governor and would remain in the Senate. Leading pro-life groups had called on members of the Senate to pass the reconciliation bills that the House had already approved.
Meanwhile, Maine Republicans will battle over which path they pursue - the policy know-nothingism and extremism of LePage and Trump or the more measured, pragmatic center-right conservatism of Collins, Snowe and Cohen. Thus taxpayers continue to be forced to fund the nation's biggest abortion business that kills over 330,000 unborn children in abortions on an annual basis.
"Senator Collins is so busy trying to stop President Trump's agenda on the national stage, she is out of touch with her own state", LePage said in a radio address last week.
She made her decision not to run as Maine's next governor after much deliberation, she said. Collins said previously that she'd like to heal the state and "bring people back together".
Collins, 64, is popular in the state, having won re-election in 2014 with 68 percent of the vote.
Notwithstanding the fact that numerous reports indicated that there were elements of becoming Governor of ME that appealed to her, it's not entirely surprising that Collins chose to stay in the Senate and to seek re-election.
She would join a crowded field in the race for governor to replace two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who can not run again because of term limits.
Now in her fourth term in Washington, she ranks 15th among the 100 senators in seniority and appears to be at the height of her power.
Collins, who is serving her fourth term in the Senate, said in her home state of ME that though Congress is marred with dysfunction, she ultimately decided that she had much left to accomplish on Capitol Hill. Susan Collins (R-ME) criticized Senate Republican leadership for shutting women out of the process of developing health care legislation.
Collins put an end to months of speculation when she made her announcement at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Friday morning.
Three Republican candidates are now in the race. Lisa Murkowski and John McCain - who voted against the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act over the summer.
On Friday, Collins said that "getting health care reform right requires starting it right, with a commitment to public hearings, open negotiations, thoughtful and fact-based discussion, and a willingness to find common ground". Finally, given the narrow margin that the GOP now has in the Senate, Collins is an important voice that can't simply be ignored by Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP leadership.
It wouldn't be a sure thing though.