Moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe will retire at the end of her current term.
“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” she said in a statement explaining her decision to retire. Snowe said her ability to win re-election was not at issue—she was heavily favored to win re-election. Her exit gives Democrats a new opportunity to be pick up a GOP-held seat in a year where they are fighting to hold on to control of the Senate. Democrats currently control the chamber with a 53-47 split, with 2 independent senators caucusing with Democrats.
Snowe has a 78% rating from the HRC on LGBT issues. She supported the Hate Crimes Act, the repeal of DADT, and voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. In 2009 she was the Senate cosponsor of the fully-inclusive ENDA.