AUGUSTA — State Rep. Marty Grohman said Tuesday he will challenge Rep. Chellie Pingree for her 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Grohman, an independent who is finishing off his second term as a state representative for Maine House District 12, left the Democratic Party in September 2017 to become an independent..

Also challenging Pingree, a Democrat, is Republican Mark Holbrook of Brunswick, who lost to Pingree by a wide margin in 2016. Pingree, a former state Senate majority leader and the former president and CEO of the liberal watchdog nonprofit Common Cause, has served as Maine’s 1st District Congresswoman since 2009 and has handily won reelection four times. Pingree lives on the Penobscot Bay island of North Haven.

Grohman, the manager of a roofing manufacturing company, said he wants to change the culture in Congress. A native of the western Maine town of Carthage, Grohman said his experience growing up on a family farm and working “to help put food on the table” helped formed his “fix not fight” ideology.

“I don’t think there is anybody who thinks what we are doing in Washington right now is working,” Grohman said. “We are just moving from crisis to crisis as far as I can tell, it’s exhausting. I just think if we send people down there who want to fix not fight, we’ve got to start somewhere and find a way to change the culture and I want to be part of it. I want to try to change it.”

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