Susan Collins has announced that she’ll remain in the Senate, ending speculation she might run for governor. Collins has served diligently for more than 20 years, but had she chosen to run her voting record — and its impact on the people of Maine — would have received close scrutiny.

To her credit, Collins has opposed several half-baked GOP proposals (most recently their attempts to repeal Obamacare), and she’s been willing to reach across the partisan divide on occasion. Conversely, she has consistently opposed any attempt to establish a living wage.

One reason Collins cited for considering a gubernatorial bid was her desire to “heal a deeply divided state.” Since she endorsed the most divisive (and least competent) governor in the state’s history in both 2010 and 2014, her concern rings hollow.

Whether she had run or not, I’m certain Democrats would have had a great opportunity to win back the Blaine House — particularly if Adam Cote was the party’s nominee. Her absence from the race only improves his odds.

Given Cote’s youth, and his appeal as a political outsider, he represents a long overdue changing of the guard in Maine politics. His decency, moral character, and calm demeanor would be a breath of fresh air in the Blaine House.

Cote’s background as lifelong Mainer and obvious empathy make it easy for folks to identify with him, and to share their cares and concerns. They know they’re being heard.

Cote’s service with the Maine Army National Guard (including tours of duty in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star) and entrepreneurial experience (CEO of Thermal Energy Storage of Maine) make him a formidable candidate. I’m confident he’ll prove to be an exceptional governor.

Stephen McKay

Brunswick