Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she will not run for ME governor and will stay in the U.S. Senate.
The announcement was met by a standing ovation from the audience of 230, almost double the previously most attended Chamber breakfast.
"I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our nation, help our hardworking families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a troubled and violent world".
Maine Republicans have touted their recent success at electing candidates to Congress, the governorship and the state Legislature, where the GOP maintains control of the Senate.
Collins spent much of her announcement touting the importance of finding bipartisan solutions to make health care affordable for all.
Senator Colliins says she's "bridge between the two sides of the aisle", one reason she is staying in Senate. Maine's other senator, independent Angus King who caucuses with the Democrats, called her "a champion for the state of ME".
Now in her fourth term in Washington, she ranks 15th among the 100 senators in seniority and appears to be at the height of her power.
Collins said her mother was urging her to stay in the Senate.
Ten Democrats, two Green independents, a Libertarian, and an unenrolled candidate have also filed paperwork with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.
Collins has made headlines during GOP-led efforts to repeal and replace the health care law commonly called Obamacare for voting against her party's stance. Since Mr. Trump became president, she has voted less often with her party than any other Republican senator.
"As a strong supporter of Susan Collins, if I had to pick which job she would do, I couldn't", said Lance Dutson, a Republican political operative in Maine who worked on Collins' 2014 campaign. Finally, given the narrow margin that the GOP now has in the Senate, Collins is an important voice that can't simply be ignored by Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP leadership.
"Senator Collins is so busy trying to stop President Trump's agenda on the national stage, she is out of touch with her own state", LePage said in a radio address last week.