Though it appears Lucas St. Clair is heading for a solid second-place finish in Maine’s sole congressional primary, he is waiting for final results before throwing in the towel.

“We owe it to the people who heard our message and cast their vote for us to see the vote-counting through to the end, even though it would seem unlikely that the election results will change,” St. Clair said Wednesday.

With nearly all of the votes cast by 2nd District Democrats counted by Wednesday afternoon, Lewiston state Rep. Jared Golden had just shy of 50 percent of the overall tally. St. Clair had 41 percent and Craig Olson had 10 percent.

Results from quite a few small towns were unavailable, but every municipality with a sizable electorate had reported the outcome.

“I want to congratulate Rep. Golden for his strong performance on Election Day,” St. Clair said. “I also want to make it clear, if the numbers hold, I will do everything I can to make sure we send him to Washington later this year, and I will encourage all of my supporters to get behind Jared and help him cross the finish line this fall.”

If Golden falls shy of an outright majority, ranked-choice voting will be used to redistribute votes cast for Olson to whomever his voters picked second.

But given that at least one in 10 voters didn’t make a second pick, it appears Golden will win automatically simply because he will have more than half of a smaller overall total.

In any case, St. Clair wants to give the new voting system a chance.

He said he will strongly push for Democrats to defeat U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a two-term Republican, whatever the outcome. The general election is Nov. 6.

“It has been an honor and privilege to run for Congress in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District,” St. Clair said.

“I want to thank everyone who put their faith in our campaign, volunteered, made phone calls and knocked on doors, invested in our positive vision, and stood with me on the good days and the tough ones,” he said.

“My priority hasn’t changed. We must turn Maine’s 2nd Congressional District blue and beat Congressman Bruce Poliquin in November. There’s too much at stake.”

St. Clair thanked the other Democratic candidates in the primary, including two men who dropped out, Tim Rich and Jonathan Fulford.

He said they all ran “tremendous campaigns” and he felt honored to compete alongside them.

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