U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe's decision not to run for re-election after more than three decades in Congress has many speculating on who will run for her seat.
Not long after Snowe announced her decision, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, sent out a statement saying she will "carefully consider how I can best serve the people of Maine." U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud said he is considering running for Snowe's spot, while his GOP opponent in the 2nd District race, Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, said he would "weigh his plans for 2012," according to the Bangor Daily News.
A candidate needs 2,000 certified signatures by March 15 to qualify for the primary ballot. Currently Scott D'Amboise of Lisbon Falls is the only Republican challenger. There are four declared Democrat candidates: state Sen. Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth, state Rep. John Hinck of Portland; former Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap of Old Town; and home builder Benjamin Pollard of Portland. Andrew Ian Dodge earlier this month unenrolled from the Maine Republican Party to challenge Snowe as an Independent.
In her announcement, Snowe cited the polarization of Congress for her decision not to run for re-election.