04/10/2014 11:28 am ET Updated Apr 10, 2014

Angus King May Switch Sides And Caucus With Senate Republicans After 2014 Elections


Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who currently caucuses with Democrats, said he is open to switching sides and joining Republicans if they retake the Senate in the midterm elections.

I’ll make my decision at the time based on what I think is best for Maine,” King told The Hill on Wednesday.

On Thursday, however, King seemed to backtrack a bit, telling a National Journal reporter he had "no intentions" of caucusing with Republicans.

King has caucused with Democrats since winning his seat in 2012 and votes with the party most of the time. He did, however, vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act this week, a measure promoting gender pay equity that has been important to Democrats.

Republicans need to pick up six seats to regain control of the Senate this fall. But if they get only five seats, the Senate would be split, and a switch by King could tip the chamber in Republicans' favor.

In such a case, both sides would likely be courting King with offers of prime committee assignments.

The other independent in the chamber is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who also caucuses with Democrats and is one of the Senate's most progressive members.



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