Susan Collins

Susan Collins
Susan Collins official Senate photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Maine
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Serving with Angus King
Preceded byBill Cohen
Chair of the Senate Aging Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byBill Nelson
Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byJoe Lieberman
Succeeded byJoe Lieberman
Personal details
BornSusan Margaret Collins
(1952-12-07) December 7, 1952 (age 65)
Caribou, Maine, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Thomas Daffron (m. 2012)
ParentsDonald Collins
Patricia McGuigan
RelativesSamuel Collins (uncle)
EducationSt. Lawrence University (BA)
WebsiteSenate website

Susan Margaret Collins (born December 7, 1952) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Maine, a seat she was first elected to in 1996. A Republican, Collins chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging since 2015 and previously chaired the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from 2003 to 2007. She also is known for her long consecutive voting streak, which reached 6,000 votes in September 2015.[1] She is the most Senior Republican woman in the Senate. She is the dean of Maine's congressional delegation.

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, Collins later became the 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)[2] 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. Staying in Massachusetts, Collins became that state's Deputy State Treasurer in 1993.

After moving back to Maine in 1994, Collins became the Republican nominee for Governor in the 1994 general election. Becoming the first woman to become the nominee of a major party for Governor of Maine, Collins finished 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 Senate in 1996. She has been reelected three times, in 2002, 2008, and 2014.

Early life

One of six children, Collins was born in Caribou, Maine, where her family has operated a lumber business since 1844.[3]

Her parents, Patricia M. Collins (née McGuigan) and Donald F. Collins, each served as mayor of Caribou; her father also served in both houses of the Maine Legislature.[4] Her mother was born in Barrancabermeja, Colombia, to American parents.[5] Collins has English and Irish ancestry. Her uncle, Samuel W. Collins, Jr., sat on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court from 1988 to 1994 and served in the Maine Senate from 1973 to 1984.[6]

Collins attended Caribou High School, where she was president of the student council.[7]

During her senior year of high school in 1971, Collins was chosen to participate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program, through which she visited Washington, D.C., for the first time and engaged in a two-hour conversation with U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME).[7] Collins is the first program delegate elected to the Senate and currently holds the seat once held by Smith.

After graduating from Caribou High School, she continued her education at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.[8] Like her father before her, she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa national academic honor society and Collins graduated from St. Lawrence magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in government in 1975.[3]

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