One of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress, if not the universe, Sen. Olympia Snowe said she has decided not to run for re-election because of “an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies” in politics and government.

Snowe stands down with roughly $3.4 million left in her campaign’s coffers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Although she is credited as a moderate, Snowe frequently joined her party in refusing to cooperate with the opposition. For example, she indicated support for, but ultimately voted against, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

Snowe’s surprise departure thrusts Maine into the sights of Democrats and Republicans fighting to control the Senate. Snowe has served in Congress for 33 years, 17 of them in the Senate, and she leaves behind a power vacuum a half-dozen candidates (and counting) are eager to fill. — PZS

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