Both Republican and Democratic candidates have dropped out of Augusta-area House race

By Matthew Stone, BDN Staff
Posted June 19, 2012, at 11:37 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Republican nominee for a seat representing northwestern Augusta in the Maine House has withdrawn his candidacy, just days after his Democratic rival did the same and a week after coming out on top in a two-way primary.

Augusta Republican Andrew Worcester notified the Maine secretary of state’s office and the Augusta City Republican Committee on Monday that he didn’t intend to pursue the House District 57 seat in November’s election, according to the committee.

Under Maine election law, the Augusta City Republican Committee can nominate a candidate to take Worcester’s place. The committee has scheduled a 6 p.m. caucus for July 2 at Augusta City Center where registered Republicans in the district will select a nominee.

At least one Augusta Republican, area Realtor and Augusta Planning Board vice chairman Matt Pouliot, has indicated he’s interested in pursuing the nomination at the caucus, said Mark Ellis, an Augusta City Republican Committee member.

Worcester’s decision to withdraw leaves both the Democrats and Republicans without their chosen nominee in the House District 57 race.

The Democratic nominee, incumbent Rep. Maeghan Maloney, announced last week that she planned to withdraw so she could focus on a run for district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties. She announced her withdrawal two days after she appeared unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot for the House seat.

The Augusta Democratic Town Committee will select a candidate at a caucus on July 11. Patsy Crockett, who held the House seat from 2006 to 2010, and Monica Castellanos, who has worked for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and more recently on Matt Dunlap’s U.S. Senate campaign, have said they’re interested in the seat.

Worcester’s withdrawal comes less than a week after he defeated fellow Republican Michael Hein in a competitive primary by a 168-134 margin. Earlier this month, Hein pleaded not guilty to an attempted theft by deception charge in connection with his efforts to qualify for Maine Clean Election Act funding.

In an email, Hein didn’t indicate he planned to pursue the Republican nomination for the House District 57 seat but noted that the July 2 caucus “is a long ways away.”

Worcester couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/19/politics/both-republican-and-democratic-candidates-have-dropped-out-of-augusta-area-house-race/ printed on July 31, 2014