Olympia Snowe to Retire Update: Last Minute Decision?
Senator Olympia Snowe announced moments ago on her Facebook page that she would not be running for re-election:
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. After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won re-election. 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. To this day, I remain deeply passionate about public service, and I cherish the opportunity I have been given for nearly four decades to help improve the lives of my fellow Mainers.
This move may be a welcome development for Maine's Tea Party-backed Governor, Paul LePage, who will now be free to endorse a more conservative candidate. LePage drew ire last year from Conservatives for declaring that he would support Snowe's re-election. For LePage, though, it was a matter of personal loyalty:
[LePage] says Snowe’s late hus[b]and Peter Snowe helped to get him off welfare and into college. His support for Senator Snowe, he says, “transcends politics,” due to his relationship with and “respect” for the Snowe family.
I used to live in Maine (I grew up there), but I'm not up on who might run to replace her. Anyone have any ideas? Both Maine's US Representatives are Democrats.
Governor Paul LePage and Senator Olympia Snowe walk in the
Moxie Day Parade, Lisbon Falls, Maine, July 9, 2009
Snowe’s reason for taking a pass on re-election, especially when she was so enthusiastically running up to this point, and especially as close to the filing deadline as this is, are mysterious. As I said before, this kind of thing does not happen in politics.
I am told her own staff was unaware of this decision until just hours before the statement went out – just long enough to actually work on the release and send it out.
Interesting. What could be her reasons? I'm thinking something akin to why David Palmer didn't run for a second presidential term!