Today Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine announced that she would not seek re-election to a new 6-year term. She pointed to the inability to progress in the face of political ideologues.

“As I enter a new chapter, I see a vital need for the political center in order for our democracy to flourish and to find solutions that unite rather than divide us. It is time for change in the way we govern, and I believe there are unique opportunities to build support for that change from outside the United States Senate. I intend to help give voice to my fellow citizens who believe, as I do, that we must return to an era of civility in government driven by a common purpose to fulfill the promise that is unique to America.”

I am saddened to see another Republican moderate leave the U.S. Congress. We need more Olympia Snowes, not fewer. The Democrats will certainly pick up this seat in Congress, and I urge the Maine Democratic party to select a moderate who can appeal to independents and Republicans – not because they have to, but because it’s in the best interest of the United States of America.