Independent King undecided on Senate affiliation

By the Associated Press | November 7, 2012 | 7:33 PM EST

Independent Angus King celebrates his victory for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Freeport, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maine's independent former Gov. Angus King says he still hasn't decided whether he will align with Democrats or Republicans when he enters the Senate in January.

The former governor, elected to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe, tells MSNBC he will probably make a decision next week after talking to the leaders of the two parties.

He says he wants to remain as independent as possible but also realizes that aligning with one of the parties is important to getting good committee assignments.

King says he talked to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Tuesday night, but had yet to speak with Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Democrats actively courted King during his campaign.

The other Senate independent, newly re-elected Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is allied with the Democrats.