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

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRosenstein faces Trump showdown Kavanaugh: I'm asking for a 'fair process' Collins: Second Kavanaugh accuser should speak with Senate panel under oath  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. 

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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 MurkowskiPolice arrest 128 protesting Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill GOP launches counteroffensive on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh protesters descend on Collins, Flake offices on Capitol Hill MORE (Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCongress must use bipartisan oversight as the gold standard The Hill's Morning Report — Ford, Kavanaugh to testify Thursday as another accuser comes forward Trump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote 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 KingA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Restoring our national parks would be a bipartisan win for Congress Restore our parks MORE (I), has drawn speculation about a potential 2018 gubernatorial run for years.