Popular former independent Maine Gov. Angus King says he's going to run for the U.S. Senate seat left open by Republican Olympia Snowe's surprise decision not to seek a fourth term.
King made his announcement Monday evening after delivering a lecture at Bowdoin (buh-DOYN') College in Brunswick. Just hours before, former gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler endorsed his fellow independent.
University of Maine professor Mark Brewer says King goes to the top of his list of Senate candidates, even without the backing of a major party. He notes King's popularity over two terms in office from 1995 to 2003.
Cutler says King brings "the reputation and the disposition that will make him a great senator."
King says the Senate needs an independent voice that's not beholden to Republicans or Democrats.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.