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

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The question is who he’d caucus with. My guess is that, like Joe Lieberman, he’d caucus with the Democrats.

  2. On one of the morning shows someone speculated that the tone of his speech suggested he wouldn’t caucus with anyone, but that’s just silly. A Senator who doesn’t caucus with one side or the other at least on the leadership vote will essentially be powerless and silent.

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Thanks, I was just about to ask that. I know nothing of King. Can any commentors describe his politics a bit?

  4. Gromitt Gunn says:

    He’s basically a cross between a pro-business Republican and a socially moderate-to-liberal Democrat. He was a successful businessman before becoming governor and he’s been investing in green tech for the past few years.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    I think we should all support him on the grounds that his name is Angus.

  6. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds: Not just Angus, but Angus King. It’s an epic name, just like Olympia Snowe.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @rodney dill:
    They’re both names that if they appeared in fiction you’d roll your eyes.

  8. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds: LIke James Bond Villains…. or like Major Major Major Major in Catch 22.