Senate Seat Series—Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

In a surprising move, Maine Senator Olympia Snowe declared that she will not seek a fourth term. This is obviously good news for Democrats in an election season where Republicans have fallen from favour and Democrats have more seats to defend than Republicans. It’s also an ominous sign of our political division as Snowe, the Republican party’s most moderate member, cites the reason for leaving as her fear that the partisanship in congress shows no sign of abating.

Indeed, the Democrats most moderate member, Ben Nelson, is also stepping down; a further sign that the divide is widening between the two parties.

With only two weeks to the filing deadline, potential replacement candidates are racing to declare candidacy for Snowe’s seat. This is leaving several political vacuums as potential candidates would be vacating other seats. 2,000 signatures need to be filed by March 15th unless the Governor agrees to some form of extension.

Four Democrats (state Rep. Jon Hinck, state Sen. Cynthia Dill, former Secretary of State Matthew and Portland home builder Ben Pollard)who already announced they’re running could be joined by U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree and former Gov. John Baldacci, all of whom are weighing a bid for the open seat. If Pingree and Michaud both run, that would leave three of Maine’s four congressional seats up for grabs.

Secretary of State Charlie Summers and Maine Senate President Kevin Raye could join the Republican race. Former independent Gov. Angus King and former independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler also were weighing runs.

The reason Snowe’s timing is surprising is because the conventional perception is that the re-election would have easily gone to her. A few of the people running to replace her are citing similar reservations and are planning to run as independent candidates.

Whether the Democrats can pick this seat up is open to speculation but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that there could be another Vermont Independent-esque candidate from New England.

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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2 Responses to Senate Seat Series—Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

  1. derfarm says:

    ummm…Ben Nelson a moderate? You smoking those funny cigarettes again, Mr. Universe?

    Ben Nelson:
    advocating easier bankruptcy for corporations and more intense scrutiny for private bankruptcy
    drug use is immoral
    opposed immigration reform, supports english only amendmant
    supports one man one woman amendment to the Constitution

    Doesn’t sound very moderate to me. Just being a “not rabid reactionary” does not make you a moderate.

  2. Barbara Cann says:

    You’re wondering about “…another Vermont Independent-esque candidate from New England”?

    Please take a look at Bill Cimbrelo, Independent for US Senate from Massachusetts. He’s fighting an uphill battle to get media coverage — and in turn, grow support — in light of the mainstream bias covering ONLY the Dem & Rep frontrunners, Warren and Brown.

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