BAR HARBOR — Tim Rich has dropped out of the Democratic primary race for U.S. House of Representatives in Maine’s second district, he told the Islander this week, and is endorsing Lucas St. Clair in the race. The two appeared together at a campaign event at Choco-Latte on Monday.
Rich, owner of the Independent Café in Bar Harbor, stopped actively campaigning weeks ago, he said, but he began filing the paperwork to drop out of the race this week.
“There was a great turnout,” Rich said. “I think folks are yearning for difference, and I think people understand what a uniquely terrible job [incumbent Bruce Poliquin] has done.”
Rich also said he would represent St. Clair at the March 4 Democratic Caucuses.
“I can’t tell you how incredibly honored I was to represent our community and our state in this campaign,” Rich said. “I’m not going to stop fighting because the campaign is over.”
Rich has accused the party establishment of showing bias in favor of Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) during the campaign. And he claims that bias had the effect of shutting out other candidates.
State party representatives told the Lewiston Sun Journal in February that they disagree with Rich’s claims.
“I very much felt that we were pushing issues forward that affect real Mainers,” Rich said. “There’s a point where if you don’t think you can win, and you believe it’s stacked against you, you have to ask yourself if you’re going to keep raising money and spending money with that in mind.”
Rich is not dismissing the possibility of another run for public office in the future.
“It’s a long life,” he said with a laugh.