In the November 6th elections Angus King won one of the US senate seats from Maine replacing Senator Olympia Snowe who is retiring. Snowe is a republican who has served as a US Senator since she was elected in 1995 and when she retires this winter it will mark the end of her third term. As a Mainer I am sad to see her go and as a voter I am sad to see one of the few remaining moderates we have leave the senate.
Senator Snowe has devoted the majority of her life to Maine politics beginning when she became a state representative in 1973. Her voting record shows that while she identifies as a Republican she votes issue-to-issue and not a straight Republican ticket. Simultaneously being a republican and pro-choice is just one illustration of how she does not purely follow her party, which is refreshing.
In a Times article singling out the 10 best senators in the US Olympia Snowe was picked for being the best “Provider”. Specifically, they lauded her for always being loyal to her constituents and for flying back to Maine almost every weekend. While home in Maine the article complimented her for participating in “‘Maine street tours’”, which is when she would talk face-to-face with voters to see what they felt most passionately about.
Senator Snowe continually showed that her primary goal is trying to better the lives of people in Maine, no matter the cost to her reputation with fellow republicans. Her reason for leaving office was not because she necessarily wanted to stop serving her state, but because she was continually being attacked for appearing not conservative enough. These attacks became especially heated when the Maine Tea Party stated they would have a challenger for Senator Snowe.
The new senator, Angus King, is a registered independent and is Maine’s former governor so it will be interesting to see how he votes on future issues; although, most are expecting him to lean towards the Democrats.