Senator-elect Angus King, I-Maine, indicated Tuesday that he could choose which party he will caucus with as early as Wednesday after being elected to the Senate as an Independent.
"My intention is to make that decision probably this week, and announce it, but 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.
He added, "Whichever decision I make, I am not declaring opposition or inability to work with, or unwillingness to work with, members of the other party."
The former two-term governor of Maine is widely expected to caucus with the Democrats, as they remained in control of the Senate after last week's elections.
If King ends up choosing the Democrats, it would give the party 55 seats in the Senate, as the chamber's other independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also caucuses with the Democrats.
However, Collins noted, "I am positive he will not be an automatic vote for either caucus, and instead will look at the issues on their merits, and will attempt to reach across the aisle, no matter which side of the aisle he's sitting on."
In his comments on Tuesday, King suggested that he would try to make a decision by Wednesday in order to vote in the Senate leadership elections.
King will replace moderate Republican Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who announced her retirement earlier this year, citing the excessive partisanship in Washington and the subsequent gridlock.
by RTT Staff Writer
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