An Augusta candidate for the Maine House of Representatives said he’ll stay in his primary and plead not guilty to charges saying he illegally used his own money to qualify for public campaign funding.

Michael Hein, 42, is running against Andrew Worcester in the Republican primary for House District 57, the district representing Northwest Augusta.

“I am in the process of retaining a local attorney, and anticipate pleading not guilty on [June] 6th to the sole charge against me,” Hein wrote in an email today. “I plan to stay in the race, at least through the primary since I am not guilty of the charge.”

Hein was summoned earlier this month on a charge of attempted theft by deception after an investigation by the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

He’s accused of using his own money to meet the small donation threshold that would have allowed him to receive approximately $1,400 in Clean Elections funding for his campaign. If he won, he’d get another $3,900 for the general election. The criminal charge is punishable by up to 364 days in jail or a $2,000 fine.

Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Ethics Commission, told The Portland Press Herald his office found 13 alleged donors that reported not contributing to Hein’s campaign. He said Hein submitted his contributions two days before deadline and 35 of 67 were cash donations.