After suspending his campaign out of the blue Monday, Democratic congressional contender Jonathan Fulford said Tuesday he is withdrawing from the 2nd District race entirely.

“The pressures of a campaign on myself and the family have been substantial, and I am withdrawing from the campaign. Sometimes family is more important than anything else,” the Monroe builder said in a prepared statement.

Fulford’s surprise withdrawal leaves three Democrats vying for the party’s backing in a June 12 primary that will be the first election for federal office decided by ranked-choice voting.

The winner will get the chance to take on two-term Republican Bruce Poliquin, who has represented the sprawling northern Maine district since capturing an open seat in 2014.

Remaining in the Democratic field are state Rep. Jared Golden of Lewiston, environmentalist Lucas St. Clair and Islesboro bookstore owner Craig Olson.

Olson said late Monday that none of the three had any idea why Fulford had suspended his race. They had appeared together at a forum in Orono that Fulford had been expected to attend.


In an email to supporters Tuesday, Fulford expressed “my deep appreciation to everyone who has supported the campaign, in so many ways. I will always be grateful to you.”

“Running for office has never been about personal ambition, but rather a belief I still hold, that we can build a better future, together,” he said.

If Fulford formally withdraws from the race, he will remain on the ballot, but the secretary of state’s office will notify voters at the polls that he is no longer a candidate. 

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Jonathan Fulford (Provided)

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