Wednesday October 31, 2012 | 10:06 AM

Former Gov. Angus King has picked up the endorsement of the other half of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction duo.

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming has endorsed King, the King campaign announced today. Simpson, a former assistant republican leader in the Senate, co-chaired the bipartisan deficit reduction task force  that came to be known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. The commission's plan calls for a combination of spending cuts, tax reform and tax increases. It wasn't adopted by Congress but is still shaping the debate about debt reduction in Washington.

The other co-chair, Erskine Bowles, is a Democrat and former chief of staff to Pres. Bill Clinton. Bowles endorsed King earlier in the campaign and came to Portland in September to appear at a King campaign event focusing on the debt and deficit. King has called the commission's plan a good framework for congressional action, but says he does not agree with all of its proposals.

Simpson, like Bowles, said King's status as a moderate independent and his experience as an independent governor could help him serve as a bridge in Congress.

"Today, Congress' sterile inability to make important compromises is truly threatening the state of our nation," Simpson said in a statement released by the King campaign.

"While Angus King may not be wedded to Simpson-Bowles in its entirety (few are!), he views it as a fine framework to build upon. The fact is that playing one party against the other isn't going to get us anywhere fast anymore," he said. "We need people in Congress who can build bridges, encourage compromises, and actually make things happen for the sake of our nation's future - not for their own election or re-election."

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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.
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Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
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Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
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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.
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Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
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