Maine Senator-elect Angus King, who ran as an independent and will be replacing a moderate Republican, will caucus with Senate Democrats for the 113th Congress.
The former independent Maine governor is replacing retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe who was among an increasingly rare breed as a moderate in Congress. King’s decision comes as little surprise, although he continued to maintain that he is not a lock-in for Democrats and is willing to straddle party lines.
“By associating myself with one side, I am not in automatic opposition to the other,” King said during a Wednesday press conference.
Democrats maintained control—and even picked up additional seats—in the Senate this election cycle. King’s caucusing pick pushes the Democrats’ edge over Senate Republicans into the double digits with 55 left-leaning seats to 45 Republicans.
King is now the third independent senator—joining Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont—who have opted to caucus with the Democrats.
“I welcome him to the caucus where we have strong tradition of independence no better exemplified by Lieberman and Sanders,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.