AUGUSTA — Maine election officials began determining the winner of a Republican primary for a U.S. House of Representatives seat on Friday using ranked-choice voting.

Former state Rep. Dale Crafts won Tuesday’s initial round of voting, but did not crack 50% of the vote, which triggers a ranked runoff under Maine law. A spokeswoman for the Maine Department of the Secretary of State said the results could be determined within a week.

Crafts sought the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Rep. Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. His opponents, Adrienne Bennett and Eric Brakey, have already conceded and thrown their support behind Crafts.

The ranked round will reapportion the second place choices of voters who picked Brakey, who came in third.

Crafts has described the ranked runoff process as a “dog and pony show” and characterized it as unnecessary because he won the initial round and his opponents have conceded. The only way he could lose the race is if a very high percentage of voters who chose Brakey marked down Bennett as their second choice candidate.

Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn, right, works in the counting room during 2nd Congressional District ranked-choice voting tabulation Friday in the Cross State Office Building in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

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