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Originally published Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM

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Reaction to Snowe's decision to leave the Senate

Reaction to Tuesday's announcement by U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, that she will not seek re-election this year:

The Associated Press

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PORTLAND, Maine —

Reaction to Tuesday's announcement by U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, that she will not seek re-election this year:

"For nearly four decades, Olympia Snowe has served the people of the great state of Maine. Elected to the state House in 1973, Olympia went on to be the first woman in American history to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress. From her unwavering support for our troops, to her efforts to reform Wall Street, to fighting for Maine's small businesses, Senator Snowe's career demonstrates how much can be accomplished when leaders from both parties come together to do the right thing for the American people. Michelle and I join Mainers in thanking Senator Snowe for her service, and we wish her and her family all the best in the future. - President Barack Obama

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"She is an outstanding colleague who defines public service at the highest level. She has built a well-deserved reputation as an informed, thoughtful and effective legislator. Truly, there is no one who works harder on behalf of Maine and our nation. Olympia could always be counted on as a leader who sought solutions, not political advantage. She served our nation with distinction and she continues to bring honor to our state." - Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

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"Bipartisanship isn't a slogan to her, it's an article of faith that you have to work hard to renew. She's going to be missed enormously. She comes from a line of moderate Republicans from John Chafee to John Heinz that made really working across the aisle a virtue. It's been really sad to see that virtue derided in so many Republican primaries the last couple years." - Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

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"Sen. Snowe has been a tireless advocate for the people of Maine, our nation's military and small businesses across the country throughout a long and distinguished career of public service. She has assembled a distinguished record that began in the Maine State House and that led to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Olympia's colleagues have no doubt that she will add much to that record after leaving the Senate at the end of this year. We will miss having her in the next Congress, but we will continue to value her friendship, and we wish her and Jock the very best in all their future endeavors." - Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

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"I was saddened to learn today that Sen. Olympia J. Snowe will not seek re-election for United States Senate. Sen. Snowe has represented the state of Maine for more than three decades with integrity and has been a tremendous leader and a tireless advocate for the people of Maine. I wish Sen. Snowe and (former) Gov. John McKernan my heartfelt best with their future endeavors and I know they will continue to be wonderful public servants for the State of Maine." - Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

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