Sen. Angus King switches endorsement to Democrat in Maine governor's race

Independent Senator-elect Angus King speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Freeport, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Maine's independent Sen. Angus King, who previously served as governor of the state, has switched his endorsement in the state's gubernatorial race from independent candidate Eliot Cutler to Democratic candidate Mike Michaud.

In a statement released Wednesday, King acknowledged that Cutler doesn't have enough support to win. Polls indicate that Cutler could serve as a spoiler, siphoning support from Michaud and giving the race to incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

"Eliot Cutler is a fine man who would make a good governor of our state," King said. "But, like Eliot, I too am a realist. After many months considering the issues and getting to know the candidates, it is clear that the voters of Maine are not prepared to elect Eliot in 2014."

Cutler supporters, he continued, have to "look realistically at the options before us at this critical moment in Maine history... I have worked with Mike Michaud for twenty years and know that he has what it takes to be Maine's next Governor."

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Cutler said he wouldn't drop out of the race, but he did say, "Anyone who has supported me, but who now worries that I cannot win, and is thereby compelled by their fears or by their conscience to vote instead for Mr. Lepage or Mr. Michaud, should do so."

A few days earlier, the Republican Governors Association released an ad attacking Michaud and also reminding voters that King had endorsed Cutler. King said the ad was trying to "trick people."