In January 2013, Angus King was sworn in as Maine’s first Independent United States Senator, filling the same seat once held by storied Maine leaders Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, and Olympia Snowe.
A strong believer in the need for greater bipartisan dialogue and relationship building, Senator King is proud to join the long line of thoughtful, independent leaders from the State of Maine, and he works hard every day to bring Republicans and Democrats together to find common-sense solutions for Maine and America. He is a proven consensus-builder who “calls ‘em like he sees ‘em”, putting civility and respect ahead of political ideology.
Senator King is a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Rules and Administration. He has made it a priority not to miss Committee hearings, earning him praise from his colleagues and the reputation as a workhorse in the Senate. Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) once called Senator King “one of the most serious and hard-working members” of the Committee.
In his time in the Senate, Senator King has worked to strengthen America’s national security, conducted critical oversight of the nation’s Intelligence Community, supported common-sense budget priorities that promote prosperity and reduce the national debt, fought the national opioid and heroin epidemic, coordinated efforts to revitalize Maine’s forest economy, advocated for policies that contribute to cleaner, cheaper energy and mitigate climate change, railed against the corrosive effect of unchecked money in politics, fought to improve access to health care, worked to strengthen the government’s support of veterans, and promoted increased access to critical community resources like rural broadband.
Senator King has already achieved significant legislative victories. In 2013, when students across America faced the financial threat of a significant increase in their student loan interest rates, Senator King spearheaded the effort to draft and pass through both the Senate and House the compromise legislation that not only averted rate hikes, but that also put the program on long-term stable financial footing. That hard-fought bipartisan solution, the Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, has since been projected to save millions of students across the country more than $50 billion in interest payments.
During the government shutdown of 2014, Senator King worked tirelessly with a small group of moderate senators, led by his colleague and friend Senator Susan Collins, to formulate the action plan that eventually led to the reopening of the government.
In fact, it is in small working groups like this that Senator King has focused much of his work. He co-founded the Former Governors Caucus, which brings together the Senate’s former Governors to chart pragmatic approaches to solutions, as well as the Senate Arctic Caucus, which hones in on Maine and America’s growing interest in the Arctic. Senator King also tries to informally bridge the partisan divide in Washington by frequently bringing his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to his home for barbeque dinners, where political talk is banned and the focus is getting to know one another. The bonds that are formed through these relationships often lay the foundation for successful legislation.
Senator King also served as the 72nd Governor of Maine, and during his two terms in the Blaine House, he focused on economic development and job creation. Then-Governor King also achieved significant reforms in education, mental health services, land conservation, environmental protection, and the delivery of state services. He was re-elected in 1998 by one of the largest margins in Maine’s history.
Senator King is married to Mary Herman and has four sons, Angus III, Duncan, James, and Ben, one daughter, Molly, and six grandchildren. He attended Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia Law School. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the Maine outdoors – either on his Harley or with his family in their camper.