FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Senator-Elect Angus King (I-ME) says he likely will have to caucus with a party in order to get a good committee assignment. But he says he hasn't made that decision yet, and he's promising not to be an automatic vote for either party.
King laid out his voting philosophy at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. He says he thinks last night's vote shows he has a mandate from Maine to be a part of a centrist coalition in the Senate.
"People in the country have to take some cognizance of the fact that this independent candidate, running in a 6 person race, got over 50 percent of the vote," King said.
King said he'll be reaching out to other former governors in the Senate, hoping they might be more willing to work together because they have had to at the state level.
King said, "I've never promised that I can go down and fix it myself. I'm not naïve enough or arrogant enough to think I'm going to go down and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are going to put their arms around me and say, 'How do we do this, Angus?' I don't think that's going to happen." He went on to say, "I think there's a general realization that if we're going to solve the nation's problems, we've got to get over this idea that it's all about party. "
King will be heading to Washington next week for orientation. He says he will be meeting with Maine's two current senators, and he could make a decision about caucasing by the end of that week.
He said he has already heard from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who simply asked him to talk to the Senate's other Independents about how they've been treated as part of the Democratic Caucus. King said that as of noon Wednesday, he had not heard from any Republicans, other than Maine's two senators, but that he also was aware that his voice mailbox was full.
King also said that while it was too early to know which committee assignments would be available, he was interested in the Finance Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Commerce Committee.