A former Republican U.S. senator from Wyoming and co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is throwing his support to Angus King in his bid to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.
“We need people in Congress who can build bridges, encourage compromises and actually make things happen for the sake of our nation’s future — not for their own election or re-election,” Alan Simpson said in a written statement.
“I support Angus King for U.S. Senate because he is in a most unique position to bridge the partisan gap and seriously tackle the tough problems ailing our nation,” Simpson said. “The Maine senators — Democrats and Republicans — I served with for 18 years always had that goal.”
King campaign manager Kay Rand said they were pleased to learn of the endorsement from the other half of the “Simpson-Bowles” team.
Democrat Erskine Bowles, who also has endorsed King, is former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and worked as co-chairman of the commission with Simpson. It focused on spending cuts and tax policy reform as a means of closing a gaping federal deficit.
Simpson was a U.S. senator for 18 years, serving as an assistant Republican leader, a Republican whip and as chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He also served on multiple congressional subcommittees.
Like King and Snowe, Simpson has expressed “extreme disappointment” in the dysfunction of the U.S. Capitol, according to a release from King’s campaign.
“Politics is about how to compromise on an issue without compromising yourself,” Simpson said. “Today, Congress’ sterile inability to make important compromises is truly threatening the state of our nation.”
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. energy secretary, also endorsed King on Wednesday, saying King was a “thoughtful and innovative” Maine governor who would bring bipartisanship to the Senate, according to the Associated Press.