st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table" /> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table" /> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table" />
Monday March 12, 2012 | 03:08 PM

National Republican continue to push the claim that national Democrats are shouldering aside their own candidates to make way for former Gov. Angus King’s independent Senate bid – on the theory that King will caucus with Democrats.

King, who won gubernatorial elections in 1994 and 1998 as an independent, says he won’t say whether he will caucus with Republicans or Democrats unless he wins and goes to Washington. The Maine Senate race could decide the balance of power in the Senate as Democrats try to hold on to their 53-seat majority.

King supported George W. Bush for president in 2000, but endorsed Democrat John Kerry in 2004 and has contributed to Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns and supports Obama's reelection. Some Maine and national Democrats acknowledge many Democrats could coalesce behind King’s candidacy, but insist no deal has been cut.

 But the National Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a release today saying that, “After pushing aside liberal Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree last week and with just four days to go for Republican and Democratic candidates to file 2,000 signatures in order to make the 2012 ballot in Maine, national Democrats show no signs of supporting any of the possible Democratic Senate candidates, including State Senator Cynthia Dill” of Cape Elizabeth.

Last week, the NRSC posted a web ad with the same back room deal theme.

However, Pingree has said she was not pushed aside by national Democrats and decided not to run completely on her own – albeit after coming to the conclusion that she and King could split enough of the vote to throw the election to a Republican.

“No one from the Democratic Party tried to convince me to get out of the race,” Pingree said. “They encouraged me strongly to stay in the race.”

Democratic Party officials have not been talking to King, either, Pingree said.

Pingree said last week that she has talked about the race with King, a close friend who came to her House last fall for Thanksgiving dinner. King gave Pingree advance notice before he made his decision to run public.

But Pingree said last week that no deals were cut between the two of them.

“People end up deciding whether or not they want to run for office for the reasons that are important to them and it’s always good to stay in the conversation with people, but it doesn’t mean that everyone gets in a back room, smokes some cigars and a deal is cut,” Pingree said. “It’s just not like that.”

For his part, King decried the GOP web ad.

“There are no back room deals, no conversations have been had,” King said in a statement via spokeswoman Crystal Canney. “Maine people deserve better than this kind of untruthful negative advertising.”


About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.