Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the last New England Republican in Congress, announced Wednesday morning that she is running for a fifth six-year term.
Collins did not mention in her announcement that the House will impeach President Trump later Wednesday, though however she votes when Trump goes on trial in the Senate is sure to alienate some large chunk of her constituents. Collins instead pitched her re-election as a bid to keep her "bipartisan commonsense approach" in a bitterly divided Washington.
"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?" Collins said. "I have concluded that the answer to this question is 'yes.'" Voters will get to either ratify or reject that choice next November, in what's expected to be the most expensive race in Maine history.
Collins has $8.6 million in the bank, but her top Democratic challenger, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, raised $1 million more than Collins in the most recent cycle. The winner of the Democratic primary — activist Betsy Sweet, lawyer Bre Kidman and former Google executive Ross LaJeunesse are also running to challenge Collins — will also get a pot of more million $4 million crowdsourced from donors in reaction to Collins' vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanauagh and pass Trump's tax law.