WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator-elect Angus King, an independent and former Maine governor, said Wednesday he will caucus with President Barack Obama's Democrats, raising the party's control of the Senate to 55-45 in the new Congress that convenes in January. King had been expected to side with Democrats, but deferred his decision until after the general election last week. His allegiance gives Democrats a gain of two seats in the 100-member chamber but falls short of the 60 votes necessary to block the filibusters that frequently paralyze the Senate. King will fill the seat of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, who retired with a denunciation of the partisan gridlock that prevents Congress from resolving many of the nation's problems. As a former governor who worked with both Democrats and Republicans in his state, King said he believed that he could help obtain bipartisan solutions in Washington. "By associating myself with one side I am not in automatic opposition to the other," said King, who while governor of Maine had weekly luncheons with state Democratic and Republican leaders. "I hope in a small way, in a small way, I may be able to act as a bridge between the parties, an honest broker," King said. King is considered conservative on fiscal issues and liberal on social matters. (Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Doina Chiacu) Repost. admin allisolm .