Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced Friday that she will not run for governor in her home state and will remain in the Senate.
Collins made the announcement at a speech before the local chamber of commerce event in Maine Friday morning.
"Ultimately, I have been guided my sense of where I can do the most for the people of Maine, and for the nation," Collins said. "I have concluded that the best way that I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate."
Collins said she agonized over the decision after receiving support to run for the Augusta governor's mansion.
"The ‘hands-on' nature of the governor's job is very appealing to me," Collins said. "Many who stopped me on the streets, in stores, at church, and in countless communities have also suggested that I could help heal the divisions in our state."
But Collins pointed to her standing within the U.S. Senate, where she ranks 15th in seniority and holds coveted positions on the Appropriations Committee, allowing her to secure funding for community projects and issues important to Maine.
She also read aloud a letter from a Senate colleague urging her to remain in the upper chamber.
"The institution would suffer in your absence," the senator wrote to her. "While the temptation might be to walk away and leave the problems to others, there are very few who have the ability to bring about positive change. You are such a person."
"As I thought about this senator's words, I realized how much remains to be done in a divided and troubled Washington if we are to serve the people of our states," Collins said. "I have demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle, to build coalitions, and to listen to the people of my state and my country."
"I am a congenital optimist, and I continue to believe that Congress can, and will, be more productive," she said before announcing her decision to remain.
Collins is in the middle of her fourth term that runs until 2020.
Collins is crucial to Republicans maintaining their slim two-seat majority in the the Senate. She is also the last remaining GOP senator from New England, after former Sen. Kelly Ayotte lost her bid for re-election last year in New Hampshire.