Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., left, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrive for votes at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Susan Collins on Friday listed a handful of Republicans she would support over former President Donald Trump for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination. But she stopped short of saying she wouldn’t support Trump if he were the party’s nominee.

“We have many Republicans that I think would be great candidates, ranging from Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton,” she said during a Friday morning event in Corinna. “There are so many candidates interested in running who would be excellent, that I anticipate supporting one of them.”

She also listed Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, as another potential contender for 2024. Haley served as Trump’s United Nations ambassador while Rubio and Cotton both serve with Collins in the Senate, representing Florida and Arkansas respectively.

She said she would prefer one of those four candidates over Trump, but declined to speculate on how she would lean if Trump were her party’s nominee in 2024.

The former president has been traveling the country for rallies and has made recent statements indicating he will likely run for a second term. He is also aggressively fundraising, but has so far refrained from making a public announcement on his plans for 2024.

Collins voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial in February following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. She said at the time that the riot was “the culmination of a steady stream of provocations by President Trump.”

“My vote in this trial stems from my own duty to defend the Constitution of the United States,” she said. “The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.”

She also positioned herself as one of a few Republicans who occasionally broke with her party during Trump’s administration.

She voted 65 percent of the time in line with Trump’s position during the course of his time in the Oval Office, according to a FiveThirtyEight Congressional tracker. She has touted her designation as the most bipartisan senator from the Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to