- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Blaine Richardson says he will run as an independent in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race.

The Belfast conservative is expected to announce Monday on Bangor radio station, WVOM, that he’s leaving the Republican Party.

The Kennebec Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1f5ktt5 ) that Richardson received more than a third of the votes in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2012, losing to former Maine Senate President Kevin Raye.

Raye and former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin have also announced their bids for the seat in 2014. State Sen. Emily Cain and Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson as well as newcomer Alden Smith are running as Democrats.

Political observers say Richardson’s decision could change the race because he may pull votes that would usually go to a Republican candidate.

___

Information from: Kennebec Journal, http://www.kjonline.com/