AUGUSTA — Three Democrats – state Sen. Cynthia Dill, state Rep. Jon Hinck and Benjamin Pollard – filed nomination papers for the U.S. Senate race before the deadline at 5 p.m. today.

That makes four candidates in the Democratic primary. Former secretary of State Matthew Dunlap had already submitted his signatures. Some big-name Democrats toyed with a run, but decided against it. They are former Gov. John Baldacci and Maine’s two U.S. House Representatives, Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree.

Six Republicans are in the race for their party’s nomination in the election to replace Olympia Snowe. State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and Attorney General William Schneider filed signatures today. They join former Maine Senate President Rick Bennett, Scott D’Amboise, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Debra Plowman and Secretary of State Charlie Summers in the race.

The winner of the party primaries in June will likely face former Gov. Angus King, an independent, in the general election.