PORTLAND, Maine — Benjamin Pollard, who trailed his three competitors in early primary election returns in the race for the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. Senate, said Tuesday night that he will continue his campaign as a write-in candidate.

As of about 10:30 p.m., Pollard, a builder, had garnered about 8 percent of the vote, which he said was a sign that his message of fiscal conservatism had resonated with Democrats.

“It looks like I am not going to win the primary, but I would definitely like to stay involved,” said Pollard during a telephone interview from his home in Portland. “I feel like what we need is not an independent senator from Maine but someone who can reform the Democratic party. One thing I don’t do is toe the party line.”

Asked whether he is concerned that his write-in candidacy would siphon votes from another candidate, making him a spoiler, Pollard said he suspects he could attract as many Republican and independent votes as Democratic ones. If early November rolls around and it’s clear Pollard has no chance of winning the election, he said he would bow out and endorse another candidate.

“This is just a way for me to keep campaigning,” he said. “I knew it would be a big challenge in the primary. I knew that a lot of the positions I took were not in line with a lot of Maine Democratic Party views. That fact may have lost me some votes.”


Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.