Maine GOP Sen. Snowe Announces Retirement

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The Republican Party will be looking to hold onto another U.S. Senate seat this November as they try to regain the majority.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said Tuesday her third term will be her last. While announcing her retirement, Snowe said she was frustrated by the "my-way-or-the-highway" ideologies and was not prepared to commit herself to another six years in the Senate.

"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," Snowe said.

"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," she added.

Snowe is considered a GOP moderate. Her public service career spans 33 years for the state of Maine, including 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before she moved to the Senate.

Senators from both sides of the aisle praised Snowe for her bipartisan efforts. President Obama said her career shows what can be done when both parties work together for the good of the country.

"From her unwavering support for our troops, to her efforts to reform Wall Street, to fighting for Maine's small businesses, Senator Snowe's career demonstrates how much can be accomplished when leaders from both parties come together to do the right thing for the American people," Obama said.

Political analysts immediately pointed to a tough battle ahead between Republicans and Democrats for the available seat.

"It makes this seat one of the top Democratic targets in the country, from not being a Democratic target at all," said Sandy Maisel, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College.

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