Senate Question 11-2-12 

Senator Olympia Snowe shocked many in Maine and around the country when the long time politician announced she is not running for re-election.A number of candidates threw their hats into the political ring to replace the U.S. Senator.Tuesday, voters will decide who they think will best represent Maine in that office.Friday, we bring you the final responses of the three frontrunners in Maine’s senatorial race, and the topic has to do with what we just talked about,here’s how the question was worded…Long time Senator Olympia Snowe announced she is not seeking re-election largely because she has lost faith in our political system. Many in our state feel the same way. What’s more important to you, voting along party lines or voting on behalf of what the people want? What will you do to restore Maine’s confidence in our leaders in Washington?Charlie Summers:”You know, I think that you have to do what is required of you and what your state needs. And that means standing up for your state and sometimes opposing your party, sometimes supporting your party. But I think, when you look at the long list of Senators that have come from the state of Maine, whether you’re talking about Margaret Chase-Smith, or George Mitchell, or Ed Muskie, or Bill Cohen, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins … those individuals were all partisans, members of political parties, but they knew at the end of the day that they had to move the process forward and do what was right for Maine, and do what is right for the country. And that is exactly the mold that I would like to follow.”Angus King:”The question you just asked is exactly the reason I’m running. When Olympia Snowe said that she wasn’t running because she felt she couldn’t get anything done, that the system was totally broken, my immediate thought was A: I’m sad about that because she’s been a great Senator and I’m sorry that she’s leaving and B: maybe we have to try it a different way, in order to make the institutions work. And that’s why I’m coming at it as an independent. And the short answer to your question is will I vote along party lines or with what the people want? 100 percent with what the people want because i”m not, I’m going to go there if I’m fortunate enough to be elected, unincumbered by either party. I can call them as I see them, sometimes I”ll vote with the Democrats, sometimes with the Republicans. That’s what I did when I was governor and that’s what i would intend to do in Washington. And I think we’ve got to do something to change this gridlock and partisanship and bitterness and cynicism, because it does undermine trust in the government and that’s the essential reason that I’m running. I think it can work, I think American has a great future and I think our system can work, but we have to get out of this, this deadlock that we’re in now, it’s just killing us. “Cynthia Dill:”Senator Snowe really should be commended for the long and really wonderful career that she had as a State’s person in Washington. She got into the United States Senate at the age of forty-seven, which happens to be my age right now, and I would follow in Senator Snowe’s, Senator Mitchell’s, Senator Margaret Chase-Smith’s footsteps of really representing Maine, and representing the country, representing the public interest. That seat in Washington is really held in trust for the people of Maine and so no party ideology would motivate me when I’m going to cast a vote. It’ll be, ‘What’s in the best interest of people of this state?’ and ‘What’s in the best interest of the people of America?'”