Wednesday September 05, 2012 | 04:34 PM

The American Nurses Association and its political action committee have formally endorsed Angus King in the race to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

The group says the independent former governor is among the candidates nationwide who "have demonstrated strong support for nursing and health care issues."

"The fact that King’s wife is a nurse may not be cause for support alone, but as governor of Maine, he removed barriers so that nurse practitioners could practice to their fullest capabilities," the association said in a written statement announcing the endorsement.

The association is especially interested in the elections this fall because of such issues as the Affordable Care Act and access to care, it said. King wants to preserve the Affordable Care Act.

Support from the nurses' group is not a surprise. The association's PAC contributed $2,500 to King's campaign in early June.

That $2,500 donation, technically, was the maximum allowed for the primary election (even though King is running as an independent and didn't have a primary contest). The nurses can give King another $2,500 for the general election cycle, and they may already have. The next round of campaign finance disclosure reports will be available next month.

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or erussell@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or mbyrne@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or rbillings@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or mshepherd@centralmaine.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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