Democratic congressional candidate Jonathan Fulford suspended his campaign Monday in the 2nd District.

Fulford said he made the move for personal reasons. He also said he regretted the necessity to make the unexpected move and would not answer questions about it.

Fulford, a Monroe builder, has been one of four Democrats vying for the party’s backing in a June 12 primary to decide which of them would be the standard-bearer in the 2nd District race against U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a two-term Republican.

None of the other candidates – Jared Golden, Lucas St. Clair and Craig Olson – could be reached for comment Monday.

All four were expected to appear Monday night at a forum in Orono sponsored by the University of Maine College Democrats, but only Golden, Olson and St. Clair showed up.

Fulford’s move shocked insiders Monday. This past weekend, he got the endorsement of Our Revolution, a political action committee established to push candidates who promote U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ agenda.

Fulford said in a prepared statement Sunday that he was grateful for the backing.

“The people deserve a representative who will fight for their interests, not the special interests,” he said, vowing to work with the people of the 2nd District “to build a better future.”

Suspending a campaign has no legal status. Candidates are either in the race or not. Fulford remains a candidate as far as the Federal Election Commission and the Maine Secretary of State’s Office are concerned unless he actually drops out.

Informally, though, it is something candidates sometimes say before quitting a race. Candidates who have suspended their campaigns can continue to raise money.

Occasionally, a candidate will cease campaigning for a period and then resume the effort.

Steve Collins can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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