AUGUSTA — Less than a week before voters go to the polls, Republican House candidate Michael Hein pleaded not guilty in Augusta District Court on Wednesday to attempted theft by deception.

Hein did not appear in court but had an attorney enter the plea on his behalf. The attorney, David Geller of Waterville, also requested a jury trial, which moved the case to Superior Court.

Hein, a candidate in Augusta’s House District 57, is charged with falsifying documents and using his own money to try to qualify for public campaign financing through the Maine Clean Election Act.

Contacted by email after Wednesday’s court session, Hein said he plans to continue his primary campaign but wouldn’t comment further, referring questions to Geller, who could not be reached.

Hein, 42, is running against Andrew Worcester for the Republican nomination in District 57. The primary election will be held Tuesday.

Maine’s ethics commission says it found that Hein falsified forms signifying that donors had given him $5 contributions in his effort to qualify for Clean Election money. Qualifying for Clean Election funds could have given Hein access to about $1,400 for his primary campaign, and $3,900 for the general election.

The commission ultimately denied his request. Hein said he would not appeal the commission’s decision that he did not get the 60 individual $5 donations required of House candidates to qualify for the money.

Attempted theft by deception is a misdemeanor punishable by as much as 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.