Angus King may pick a party by Wednesday

Angus King, the so-far independent senator-elect from Maine, said he hopes to make a decision on which party to caucus with in time to vote in Senate leadership elections Wednesday.

“The important thing is that whichever decision I make… I don’t consider that building a wall between myself and the other party,” King told reporters after meeting with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Tuesday morning.

U.S. Sen.-elect Angus King (I-Maine) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) shake hands in Collins’s Capitol Hill office Nov/ 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla — Getty Images)

King and his aides initially said that he might not make a decision on which party to support until after Thanksgiving, but he appears to have moved up his timeline in order to participate in Wednesday’s scheduled elections for majority leader.

Asked whether he’ll have a decision in time for those votes, King said, “I am going to try to, I’m having some further discussions today and probably have some comments for you some time tomorrow.”

Party leaders have been tight-lipped on whether they plan to meet with King, but he’s scheduled to cross paths with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at a series of new member events Tuesday and Wednesday.

Before they spoke with reporters, King and Collins exchanged gifts in front of a bank of cameras assembled in her suite in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Collins gave King a pair of Senate cuff links. He gifted her a tea maker.

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