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Collins: 'I just felt that I couldn't walk away' from Senate

Collins: 'I just felt that I couldn't walk away' from Senate
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBipartisan, bicameral group unveils 8 billion coronavirus proposal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate MORE (R-Maine) said Sunday she decided against running for governor of Maine next year because she felt there was still an important role for her to play in the Senate.

"I looked at all that is going on in Washington today. The issues that we're dealing with are so consequential. I do play a key role as being one of those senators who can work across the aisle and actually get things done," Collins told host Kasie Hunt on MSNBC's "Kasie DC," which premiered on Sunday.

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"And I just felt that I couldn't walk away even though it's a very difficult and troubled time in Washington," the Republican lawmaker continued.

Collins said she entertained the idea of a gubernatorial run "for many reasons," pointing to her friends and family. 

"One is that I missed being in Maine full time. Most of my family and many of my friends are there. And governor is a more hands-on job where you can do more to promote economic opportunities, and that really matters to me," she said. 

Collins ended months of public speculation on Friday, when she announced that she planned to stay in her Senate role for the rest of the term. 

"I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that ... bring peace and stabilities to a troubled and violent world," Collins said last week during a speech at a local Chamber of Commerce event in Maine. "And I have concluded that the best way I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the U.S. Senate."
 
"I am a congenital optimist and continue to believe that Congress can — and will — be more productive. ... I have demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle," she added. 
 
Collins, a centrist in her party, has become a key figure this year in some of Washington's largest legislative battles.
 
Her vote against some of the health-care measures put forth by her party, which has a slim 52-seat majority in the upper chamber, helped kill the two separate Republican efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare.