Olympia Snowe

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Biography

Born February 21, 1947, Olympia Snowe's political career began in 1973 when she won a special election for her late husband Peter Snowe's seat in the Maine House of Representatives. After winning and serving another term, Snowe won entry to the Maine Senate. In 1978 she was elected to the US House of Representatives, the youngest woman ever sent to Congress, and the first Greek-American female. In 1994 Snowe won retiring Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's open seat, making her the first politician in Maine history to serve in all 4 major legislative bodies. Snowe won reelection in 2000. She has won more federal elections than any politician in Maine history, and was the first woman to sercure a full-term seat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

Snowe is part of that near-extinct breed of Republican moderates. She formed the Senate Centrist Coalition in 1999 with Louisiana Democrat John Breaux, but the following 5 years saw more bitter partisanship and Republican bullying than ever before. In 2001, Snowe unsuccessfully begged fellow New England Republican Jim Jeffords not to leave the party, saying that their voices would more easily be heard and respected if they remained Republicans. She has been repeatedly attacked for being moderate on abortion and gay issues, with Catholic bishops threatening to deny her Communion unless she renounces her pro-choice stance. In 2003, she was the subject of ugly attack ads by the far-right, extremist Club for Growth, who derided her for her "Franco-American" opposition to a third round of federal tax cuts for the rich. Due to 25% of Maine's population having French ancestry, the ads backfired, but extremists continue to taunt and jeer Snowe, threatening to foist a far-right primary challenge on her in 2006. This challenge never materialized, and Snowe was easily reelected.

She made it clear in 2006 that she felt Iraq needed to change course not stay the course.[1]

Committees

Select Committee on Intelligence

Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation

Committee on Finance

Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship


External Links

Official site

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