Former Maine governor Angus King, an independent, won the open Maine Senate race Tuesday, beating back a challenge from Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers.
Even though no vote totals have been reported, AP has called the race for King.
Now that King has been elected to the Senate, questions will persist about whether he will caucus with Democrats. Despite steadfastly refusing to pick a party to caucus with during the campaign, national Democrats and Democratic-leaning outside groups dumped millions into the race to ward off Summers when the polls narrowed.
Republicans are in a pickle in Missouri, where they are now confronted with whether to fund a badly damaged Senate candidate they swore off a month ago.
But Senate Democrats might face their own pickle in the weeks ahead. And his name is Angus King.
King is, for all intents and purposes, the Democratic nominee in the open Maine race where Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) is retiring. The actual Democratic nominee, state Sen. Cynthia Dill, has gotten the cold shoulder from the national Democratic Party and lags far behind in the polls. And most everyone believes that King would caucus with Democrats if he’s elected — although he’s been reluctant to say that.
Maine Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree has opted to run for reelection rather than challenge former Independent governor Angus King for the state’s open Senate seat.
“There is much at stake in this election, and although the prospect of running for and possibly serving in the United States Senate was very exciting, in the end I concluded that I will best serve the people of Maine by running for reelection to the House,” Pingree said in a statement.
The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent broke the news of Pingree’s decision.