Angus King, elected as an Independent, will caucus with Senate Democrats

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November 15, 2012

U.S. Senator-elect Angus King

By Greg Janetka

AUGUSTA, Maine: U.S. Senator-elect Angus King officially announced on Wednesday that, while elected as an Independent, he will caucus with Democrats.

Explaining his decision to a group of reporters, King stated, “In the situation where one party has a clear majority and effectiveness is an important criteria, affiliating with the majority makes the most sense. The majority has more committee slots to fill, has more control over what bills get considered and more control over the Senate’s schedule.”[1]

King became an Independent in 1994 when he ran for Governor of Maine, an office he held from 1995 to 2003. Prior to that he was a lifelong Democrat, and so the move to caucus with them was not a surprise. King easily won election to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012 defeating four challengers with 52% of the vote.[2]

King will be one of two Independent senators when the new Congress convenes next year, joining Bernie Sanders from Vermont. Sen. Joe Lieberman currently serves as an Independent, but did not seek re-election in 2012. Both Sanders and Lieberman caucused with Democrats.

Since 1900, a total of 73 members of Congress have served as a member of a party other than Republican or Democrat. King will be number 74.

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