The New York Times
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 -- 5:28 PM EST
Senator Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine, Will Not Seek Re-election
WASHINGTON – In a stunning upheaval in the race to control the Senate, Senator Olympia Snowe, a three-term Republican from Maine, said Tuesday she would not run for re-election, citing excessive partisanship in the Senate.
"After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision," said Ms. Snowe in a prepared statement. "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."
Ms. Snowe, a moderate who cast key votes in bills that were dear to Democrats including the health care legislation and the stimulus bill, was facing a Tea Party-backed challenger, but one who had failed to gain much traction in a state where Ms. Snowe remained popular and well known.
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