Born: Caribou, Maine, USA
Susan Margaret Collins (born December 7, 1952) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator for Maine. A Republican, Collins has served in the Senate since 1997. Born in Caribou, Maine, Collins is a graduate of St. Lawrence University. Beginning her career as a staff assistant for Senator William Cohen in 1975, she later became staff director of the Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee of the Committee on Governmental Affairs (which later became the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs) in 1981. She was then appointed as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation by Governor John R. McKernan, Jr. in 1987. In 1992, she was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as the director of the Small Business Administration's regional office in Boston, Massachusetts. Collins became Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts in 1993. After moving back to Maine in 1994, Collins became the Republican nominee for Governor of Maine in the 1994 general election. Collins was the first female major-party nominee for the post, finishing third in a four-way race with 23% of the vote. After her bid for governor in 1994, Collins became the founding director of the Center for Family Business at Husson University. Collins was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. She was re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. Collins is the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and is a former chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. She is known for having never missed a single Senate vote since she became senator; by September 2015, her consecutive-votes streak had reached 6,000. She is the most senior Republican woman in the Senate, is dean of Maine's congressional delegation, and is the only New England Republican in the 116th Congress. Along with Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, she is frequently described as one of the most moderate Republicans in the Senate. She often positions herself as a pivotal vote, thus becoming a focal point during highly watched legislation.
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