U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will not run to keep her seat this November, according to local station WGME.
“After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate,” Snowe said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “It has been an indescribable honor and immeasurable privilege to serve the people of Maine, first in both houses of Maine’s legislature and later in both houses of Congress.”
Snowe continued, “As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion, and I am filled with that same sense of responsibility today as I was on my first day in the Maine House of Representatives.” She added, “I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.”
The moderate Republican’s decision not to seek another term gives Democrats an opportunity to capture another post in the upper congressional chamber.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil addressed the news in a statement.
“As we said from day one, unexpected opportunities will emerge and the DSCC will be in a position to seize on these opportunities,” he said. “Maine is now a top pick up opportunity for Senate Democrats. If there is one place in the country that is likely to reject the extreme, anti-middle class, divisive Republican agenda it is Maine. Democrats not only hold a strong registration advantage in the state, but this is a state that the President won by 17 points in 2008 and will likely win by a significant margin this year as well.”
Snowe was first elected to the Senate in 1994.
Below, full text of the statement issued by Snowe on her decision.