PORTLAND, Maine — The nation’s two independent senators have a message for Maine’s Angus King if he’s elected to replace Olympia Snowe: Choose a side.

Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut enjoy their political freedom, but they say that if the former Maine governor is elected he’ll find the Senate’s run by the two major political parties, and independence has its limits.

King’s said that if elected, he wouldn’t decide which party caucus he’d join before he gets to Washington.

But Sanders and Lieberman tell Maine Today Media that being the most effective senator means getting the best possible committee assignments, and it’s the Democratic and Republican caucuses that divvy up those assignments and decide who chairs committees and subcommittees.

Lieberman and Sanders both caucus with the Democrats.