WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Republican Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced Friday she has decided to remain in the Senate rather than run for Governor of Maine in 2018.
Collins announced her decision at a local Chamber of Commerce event in Rockport, ending months of speculation about her future.
One of the few remaining moderate Republicans, Collins played a key role in the GOP's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Collins said her decision was not easy and that she was guided by her sense of where she could do the most for the people of Maine and the nation.
'I am a congenital optimist, and I continue to believe that Congress can - and will - be more productive,' Collins said.
She added, 'I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our economy, help our hard-working families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a violent and troubled world.'
Collins said she concluded the best way she can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the Senate.
Political observers suggested Collins may have had difficulty winning the Republican primary in the race for governor due to her role in the GOP's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Collins was one of three Republican Senators that voted against the so-called 'skinny repeal' of Obamacare and signaled her opposition to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal the law last month.
The Maine Senator offered criticism of how the Republican healthcare bills were crafted, arguing that party leaders made the same mistakes Democrats made when they passed Obamacare.
Collins also expressed concerns about the executive order President Donald Trump signed on Thursday as well as his decision to end Obamacare subsidiaries to insurers.
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