Snowe declines to run again
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) announced her decision not to run for re-election in the upcoming November election after three consecutive terms serving in the U.S. Senate. Snowe served a combined 33 years in both the U.S. Senate and House and is known for her independent voting record, despite her Republican identification.
She said in her Feb. 28 announcement that the deadlock within Congress has made political decision-making in Washington dysfunctional, and her frustration has led her to pursue other opportunities outside of the U.S. Senate.
With a history of voting outside of the Republican Party, Snowe’s key dissenting decisions were supporting the introduction of President Obama’s healthcare bill to the floor, though she ultimately opposed it, supporting President Obama’s stimulus bill and opposing the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
The third-longest serving woman in congressional history and a long-term member of the Senate Finance Committee, Snowe is one of five moderate senators who will not be seeking re-election in the fall.
The announcement came as a surprise to many. Snowe had over $3 million of fundraising in her re-election campaign and was considered a sure win. Charlie Diamond ’12, a government major who worked in Snowe’s campaign headquarters during JanPlan, said, “From my perspective, there was no indication that this was going to happen. The campaign was going well. She was up in the polls. No one was acting like this was coming.” He continued, “She obviously had been thinking about it for a while, but the fact that she was fundraising and running a campaign normally makes me think that this was unexpected for everyone, but then again not a spur of the moment decision.”
Snowe’s decision came just two weeks before the March 15 filing deadline for candidates to qualify for the primary race by submitting 2,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The open race for Snowe’s seat could cause the Senate majority to tip more heavily in favor of Democrats if a democrat were to fill her seat.