BANGOR (AP) – Sen. Olympia Snowe said she’s flattered that a stranger is endorsing her as a candidate for president, but she plans to seek re-election to the Senate.

Simon Dodd has never met Snowe but he is promoting her as a presidential candidate with his Web site, www.OlympiaSnowe2008.com.

Dodd, a 25-year-old networks engineer from Indiana, zeroed in on Snowe because he believes the moderate Republican has what it takes to win a crowded primary and would be a formidable candidate in the general election, particularly in Democratic-leaning or “blue” states.

He acknowledges he’s floating a trial balloon. “My job is to run it up the flagpole, and we’ll see who salutes,” he said.

The site, both he and a Snowe spokesman are careful to note, is not sanctioned by the senator or her staff.

“I’m very pleased and extremely appreciative that someone would take the time and effort because of my views and record in Congress to establish such a Web site,” said Snowe, who also has denied previous rumors she would run for governor.

“My only plans are to run for re-election to the United States Senate in 2006,” she said in a statement to the Bangor Daily News.

Richard Powell, a University of Maine political scientist and expert on presidential politics, said while Snowe’s reputation as a centrist has increased her stature in the Senate, it would hurt her chances in a GOP primary.

“That same moderation poses some significant challenges,” Powell said. “I think she would have difficulty appealing to conservatives, particularly in Southern states where a candidate has to do well.”


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