AUGUSTA — Local Democrats plan to caucus Wednesday to pick a new candidate for state Senate District 15.

Anna Blodgett, who had filed papers to run as a Democrat for the seat and was unchallenged in the June primary, withdrew her candidacy.

Blodgett, a former state representative, said she withdrew because she was only a “paper candidate” who agreed to file to run for the spot as a placeholder until a Democratic candidate stepped up to seek the seat.

“I was a paper candidate until they found someone to run,” Blodgett said Monday. “And they did.”

Rebecca Cornell du Houx, of Augusta, who lost her bid for the Democratic nomination for state House of Representatives District 85 to Donna Doore in June, intends to seek the Democratic nomination to replace Blodgett. The Senate District 15 seat is currently held by Republican Roger Katz.

“Ultimately, I think the people of District 15 deserve to have somebody stand up for them and listen to them, so that’s what I’m going to do,” Cornell du Houx said. “I’m going for it full force. I’m excited about it.”

She’ll get her chance Wednesday, when Democrats are scheduled to pick a replacement for Blodgett. The caucus is at 6 p.m. at Augusta City Center, which is the Cony Street location of city government.

Senate District 15 covers Augusta, Vassalboro, Sidney, Oakland and China.

Rita Moran, chairwoman of Kennebec County Democrats, encouraged Democrats from those towns to come to the caucus to help pick a new candidate.

Moran said she had not heard of any candidates other than Cornell du Houx, but the caucus would be an open process and other candidates could come forward to seek to run as a Democrat for the seat.

Moran encouraged Democrats who attend the meeting to also consider bringing their checkbooks to make a $5 donation to the candidate selected to help him or her qualify to run as a Clean Elections candidate.

The 28-year-old Cornell du Houx, a Maine National Guard member serving with the Guard’s medical detachment in Augusta, who has previously worked as a social worker and mental health case manager, lost to Doore in the House District 85 primary by a vote of 338 to 249.

She said she understands running against the Republican incumbent Katz — a former Augusta mayor and current assistant Senate minority leader — will be a challenge, but one she is ready to meet.

“There’s no question it will be a lot of hard work, but there is still hope for me,” Cornell du Houx said, noting the district has had a strong Democratic history. “There is always a chance. I’m going into this 100 percent, because the people deserve that.”

Political parties have until July 28 to choose replacement candidates for legislative races.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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