Collins to make decision on governor bid by end of September
© Keren Carrion

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Skyrocketing insulin prices provoke new outrage MORE will make a decision about whether to run for Maine governor by the end of September. 

Collins told WCSH that she was still weighing whether to stay in the Senate and hoped to discuss the decision with family and advisers next week. 

"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," she told the Maine TV station. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Collins isn't up for reelection for her Senate seat until 2020. She would have to resign her seat if she ran for governor and won, a move that could allow GOP Gov. Paul LePage, who is term limited, to pick her successor. 

As one of the Senate's most moderate Republicans, Collins has been at the center of the chamber's action this year — joining with GOP Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiIcebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families Trump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril MORE (Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDon’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act Meghan McCain rips Trump's 'gross' line about her dad Trump's America fights back MORE (Ariz.) to block the "skinny" ObamaCare repeal bill — and is poised to have an influential role in Congress's fall fights. 

Collins said she's been discussing a potential bid for the state's top office since shortly after she won reelection to the Senate in 2014, adding that the role would be more "hands on." 

But she noted that her work in the Senate, particularly her attempts to work with Democrats, "is very important, perhaps more important than ever in some ways."  

A source told a separate Maine TV station, WMTV, that Collins was now leaning more toward running for governor than she was earlier in the summer. But a spokeswoman for Colllins disputed that, saying she is neither closer nor farther away from making a decision. 

Collins, who ran for governor in 1994 and lost to now-Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingIcebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic Heckler yells ‘Mr. President, f--- you’ as Trump arrives at Capitol Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families MORE (I), has drawn speculation about a potential 2018 gubernatorial run for years.