"When the moment comes, you don't equivocate, you don't deny and you don't retreat. Chamberlain gave us one piece of advice: 'Charge!' and that's exactly what I intend to do," King said to an audience of supporters, invoking Civil War hero--and former Bowdoin president--Joshua Chamberlain.
Rattling off a list of issues--health care, education, the economy--King (right) said the bigger issue facing the nation is government dysfunction. "You can't fix any of these issues if the institutions that we have set up to solve these problems are themselves broken," he said.
King said as an Independent, he would be free to vote according to the wishes of Maine people and not those of party bosses.
King's announcement comes shortly after former Maine Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler said he was dropping out of contention for Snowe's seat and throwing his support to King.
But several Republicans and Democrats are still signaling interest in the race--as of this hour, at least. They include Maine Attorney General William Schneider, Secretary of State Charlie Summers, former state Senate President Rick Bennett and current Senate Majority Leader Deb Plowman.
On the Democratic side, former Gov. John Baldacci is out gathering signatures. So is former Secretary of State of Matt Dunlap, who has now exited and re-entered the Senate race in just the past week, and state Sen. Cynthia Dill, of Cape Elizabeth.
The big question now is whether 1st District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, will jump into the race. Pingree said earlier today that she was still considering the question.
This story was reported by Tom Porter, Susan Sharon and Barbara Cariddi.
Photo by Tom Porter.