AUGUSTA — Republican Bruce Poliquin wants independent candidate Blaine Richardson to get out of the race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat.

The Kennebec Journal reports that Poliquin called Richardson on Thursday night, asking him to drop out of the race.

Richardson says that Poliquin believes that the independent will be to blame if Democrat Emily Cain wins in a close race.

Poliquin Campaign Manager Matthew Hutson said in a statement that people who’ve supported Richardson in the past, who “know he has no chance of winning the election,” asked Poliquin to talk to him. Hutson says Poliquin wants Richardson to support him rather than “working with Emily Cain.”

Observers had said that Richardson, a former Republican, could peel away votes from Poliquin in the hotly contested race.

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