In a decision sure to bring a sigh of relief for Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told supporters on Wednesday that she plans to seek a fifth term in the Senate in next year’s election.
The moderate Republican emailed her supporters Wednesday morning, according to Politico, to tell them there is still room for her “bipartisan commonsense approach” in politically polarized Washington.
Collins wrote in the email:
“The fundamental question I had to ask myself in making my decision was this: in today’s polarized political environment, is there still a role for a centrist who believes in getting things done through compromise, collegiality, and bipartisanship? I have concluded that the answer to this question is ‘yes,’ and I will, therefore, seek the honor of continuing to serve as Maine’s United States Senator.”
Collins, the last Republican senator from New England, has been seen as one of the more vulnerable Republicans in Washington and her seat is seen as critical to maintaining the Republican majority in the Senate.
Voters in Maine are deeply divided about President Donald Trump, with voters in the southern part of the state opposed to his brash politics and those in the more rural north largely supportive, and Democrats have gone to great lengths to tie Collins to the president.
Collins famously said she did not vote for Trump in the 2016 election, but has sided with the president on issues such as the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the GOP tax cut. Democrats have promised to keep up the accusations that she is one of Trump’s “top enablers” and will be watching closely how she votes in the Senate impeachment trial in January.
As expected, Susan Collins just announced that she will be seeking re-election.— J Street (@jstreetdotorg) December 18, 2019
We're proud to endorse @SaraGideon and help her unseat one of Trump's top enablers.
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Susan Collins has announced she's running for a fifth term.— GEN (@GENmag) December 18, 2019
A groundswell of grassroots activists in Maine are looking to unseat her on the way to the more challenging task of retaking the Senate. https://t.co/stnOPJcY2S
The 2020 race for her seat, Politico says, is likely to be the most difficult of her 22-year career, and is already shaping up as the most expensive in the state’s history. Collins’ top Democratic challenger is Sara Gideon, the speaker of Maine House of Representatives.