I continue to be impressed with Sen. Susan Collins. In our nation’s capital, where far too many people seem to be trapped inside the echo chamber of their own political ideology, Collins continues to listen and deliberate with purpose, conviction and grace.

Some deride her as a strong partisan, while others accuse her of being a traitor to her own party. The fact that both perceptions exist simultaneously informs us that neither is true and that we have a true independent thinker in Collins.

In the spirit of doing what she believes is right, Collins has taken some significant risks that have, at times, threatened to jeopardize her standing with colleagues and constituents. This is what we should expect of our elected officials and, while there are times we may not agree with what she does or says, we can be sure that she has agonized over the details and reached a well-reasoned decision.

Mark J. Ellis

Gardiner

(Editor’s note: The author is a former chairman of the Maine Republican Party.)