Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingRep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE is backing his Maine colleague, Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase MORE, in her reelection bid.
The Associated Press reports King, who caucuses with Democrats, will endorse the centrist Collins on Friday.
"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 ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken We have a plan that prioritizes Afghanistan's women — we're just not using it Scott Brown's wife files to run for Congress MORE (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.