Angus King backs Collins for reelection

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Independent Sen. Angus King is backing his Maine colleague, Republican Sen. Susan Collins, in her reelection bid. 

The Associated Press reports King, who caucuses with Democrats, will endorse the centrist Collins on Friday. 

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"I think she's one of the Senate's MVPs — smart, tough, and always willing to listen. In my book, she's a model senator and I'm delighted to support her re-election," King told the AP in a statement. 

King’s move could foreshadow his own political plans in the next Congress. The Hill reported earlier this year that King will decide after the midterm elections whether he’ll caucus with the GOP, and the senator hasn’t ruled out aligning himself with Republicans if they end up controlling the Senate. 

But his picks were bipartisan on Friday, too. He also backed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in her match against former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a much tougher contest than Collins's but one where Shaheen is still favored. 

Collins is heavily favored in her bid for a fourth term against Democrat Shenna Bellows, former director of the state’s ACLU chapter. 

King and Collins are former political rivals, too. He beat her in a 1994 three-way race for governor. But now he has nothing but praise for his onetime opponent. 

"Since entering the Senate, I have had a chance to work with Susan Collins on a wide variety of issues. I've seen first-hand her work ethic, her intelligence and her integrity," he continued in a statement. "She always puts Maine and the country first and isn't afraid to cross party lines to get things done."

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m.