Brunswick, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-The former governor of Maine will enter the race to fill Senator Olympia Snowe's seat.
King will run as an independent.
Snowe announced last week that she will not seek a fourth term in the Senate, citing frustration with political intransigence.
King made the announcement after a lecture at Bowdoin College Monday night. He says he knows that many people have their doubts about whether an independent can accomplish anything. He says he proved those critics wrong as governor, and he will do it again as a senator.
"Instead of solving the nation's problems, the best they could do was drive out an extraordinary woman from Maine," King said about Senator Olympia Snowe. "That's wrong. That's why, I'm announcing tonight that I'm a candidate for the United States Senate."
King was at Bowdoin to give a lecture on the Cuban Missile Crisis. After that talk he announced his candidacy. He says the nation faces a mountain of problems, but government can't solve those problems right now, because it is broken.
"We can't solve healthcare, or energy, or anything else if the institution, or in this case the United States Congress just is locked."
King knows the question on everyone's mind is whether an independent can get anything done in Congress. He told the crowd at Bowdoin that as an independent, he won't be pressured to vote along party lines.
"Here's the way I feel. Nobody will be able to tell me how to vote except that people of Maine."
He believes a vote for an independent candidate would send a message to the rest of Congress.
"Frankly, I think I might scare them," King said, getting a laugh out of the audience. "And that would be a good thing. Because we would be sending a message that if they don't get their act together other states and other communities are going to be sending more people like me. That would be their worst nightmare!"
King supporters who were there for the announcement agree, and they believe he can win.
I absolutely love it," Rick Elsaesser of Brunswick said. "I've always been a supporter and I was hoping he'd run, and I would like to see change in Congress."
"He won the governorship for two terms so evidently people like him and they think he's very intelligent" Nancy Langbine said.
King hopes the people of Maine give him the chance to try to make a difference in the highly divided U.S. Senate.
"I get a vote, and votes are important down there, that's the currency," King said. "And it's conceivable that the Senate could be very closely balanced. If that's the case I could be the most popular girl at the prom."
First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is gathering signatures for a possbile run for the Senate, but has not made a final decision. She issued this statement after King announced for the Senate:
"This is an extremely important election and a lot is at stake, including the control of the U.S. Senate. While I have been humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support encouraging me to run, I'm going to continue thinking very carefully about whether or not I should enter this race and will take all the factors into consideration before deciding how I can best serve the people of Maine."