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Bloomberg finances independent in Maine Senate race

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One of the most prominent independent politicians in the country, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has put half a million dollars of his substantial wealth behind a fellow independent who is battling a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Maine.

Federal Election Commission filings Friday showed the donation to the Americans Elect super PAC. The quasi-party apparatus toyed with fielding a presidential candidate, anticipated to be former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer – who like Mr. Bloomberg, has been both a Republican and a Democrat – but despite securing places on the ballot in many states, ultimately did not back any candidate.

Americans Elect on Friday spent more than $700,000 on ads supporting Angus King in the Maine Senate race. It was the rare instance in which an independent candidate, who by definition lacks party backing, received the equivalent of the substantial support that Democrats and Republicans in tight races receive from national organizations.

Mr. King is vying against Republican candidate Charlie Summers to replace retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. Observers speculate that Mr. King, although not a Democrat, would be the equivalent of a Democratic vote in the Senate, and the infusion of cash in the tiny state stands to increase his changes.

The candidate backed by the Democratic Party in Maine has little chance of victory.

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