March 3, 2012

Senator says she’ll consider endorsing a replacement for Republican primary

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Sen. Olympia Snowe said Friday that she has been in touch with potential GOP candidates for her seat and anticipates that more Republicans will join the race.

At a news conference she held to discuss her retirement after three terms in the U.S. Senate, Snowe also said she may endorse a candidate before the GOP primary in June, but she isn’t committed to endorsing her party’s eventual nominee.

She reiterated her earlier statements that bitter partisanship, in Congress and in the nation, led her to decide not to seek a fourth term.

Snowe said she believed she had the financial resources and support to win re-election, if she had chosen to run.

She said the country is “increasingly divided into red states and blue states that elect people who represent only one color,” which hurts the nation.

Snowe said her decision not to run followed the GOP caucuses in early February, when she started to turn her attention to her upcoming primary race.

Snowe touched on several issues during her news conference:

On being a moderate Republican woman in Congress: “I’m used to being in the minority of the minority of the minority.”

On the lack of moderates: “There’s a vanishing center.”

On reaching across the aisle: “You have to talk to people with whom you disagree.”

On Senate politics: “Everyone simply votes with their party and those in charge use every possible tactic to block the other side.”

On the outlook: “I do not see the polarization that now stands in the way of getting anything done changing.”

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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