Independent Angus King Throws Hat Into Ring For Maine Senate Seat
The race to replace Olympia Snowe in the Senate just got much more interesting:
Angus King, the former independent governor of Maine, jumped into the race to replace retiring U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe Monday, telling a crowd a Brunswick, Maine he would help America’s economy return to solvency.
“This country’s got some real serious problems,” King told a crowd at Bowdoin College, where he is a lecturer. “Putting people back to work the very first one, and numbers don’t tell the whole story.”
King served as Maine’s governor from 1995-2003, and was one of the nation’s only governors not affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic Parties. His speech Monday struck a note of defiance against partisan politics gripping Washington, noting the gridlock was the reason Snowe decided to step down.
“It doesn’t have to be the way it is today,” King said. “It has not always operated like that. Now it’s about politics and getting ready for the next election. And you know what, instead of solving our nation’s problems, the best they could do was drive out an extraordinary woman, and that’s wrong.”
King said he would never bow to pressure from the right or the left.
“I think I might scare them, and that would be a good thing because Maine will be sending a message,” King said. “If they don’t get their act together, I won’t be the last person sent their way who won’t play the game the way they want.”
King’s entrance into the race would seem to pose problems for the Democrats’ chances to take Snowe’s seat, and potentially help the Republican candidate. However, it’s worth noting that King received 58.61% of the vote when he ran for re-election in 1998 in a three way race. That was the last time a Maine Governor received a majority of the vote in any election. While King has spent the last 10 years teaching, if his popularity in the state holds up it could be both the GOP and the Democrats who find themselves looking from the sidelines on election night as Angus King claims victory. This will be a race worth watching.
Photo via Associated Press