Angus King

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Angus King enjoyed widespread name recognition when he entered politics as a player, not commentator, in 1994. He had been host of the public television show "Maine Watch" for nearly 20 years before he launched his 1994 gubernatorial campaign with commercials showing him rolling up his sleeves to delve into state issues.

Comfortable in public speaking situations and savvy with the media, King won election to the Maine governorship _ his first elective race _ as an independent with 35 percent of the vote in a five-candidate race.

He milled about with lawmakers in hallways of the Statehouse and attended public sessions to deal with state fiscal problems, unusual practices for a sitting governor.

Then the economy turned and Maine found itself with large surpluses. Rather than introduce new programs, King pushed for one-time expenditures such as rebuilding the state prison system and mental institution with the excess revenues, while pushing business equipment tax breaks. He was re-elected to a second term with 58 percent of the vote in a five-person race in 1998.

Hoping to establish his legacy, King pushed for a program to make Maine the first state to equip every middle school student with a laptop, at first eyeing huge state surpluses as a way to fund it. But gradually schools were asked to contribute to the effort as the program spread to high schools and the economy cooled.

King stayed away from politics after completing his second term, and returned to his alternative energy business pursuits. But when Republican U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe made her surprise announcement in February 2012 that she would not seek re-election, King quickly jumped into the race. Polls show the former governor favored in the general election.

American Conservative Union Rating: Not rated

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: Not rated

Source: Associated Press

Race Snapshot: Maine Senate


Angus King (I)

Cynthia Dill (D)

Charlie Summers (R)

Race Rating: Lean Democratic

View more projections from The Fix

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