Tuesday May 22, 2012 | 10:19 AM

Republican Blaine Richardson's primary challenge against state Senate President Kevin Raye recently received an important boost from the Republican Liberty Caucus.

The RLC is the shell group for Ron Paul supporters, whose organizational and voter canvassing efforts could play a role in the primary.

It remains to be seen if Paul supporters will be as engaged in the upcoming June primary as they have been at such events as the Maine Republican State Convention. However, the RLC endorsement of a Richardson is noteworthy given that the group has previously backed Gov. Paul LePage, and more recently, the U.S. Senate candidacy of Rick Bennett.

Raye, meanwhile, still appears to be the establishment choice to run against U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, in the 2nd Congressional District. Raye nearly beat Michaud in 2002.

RLC National Chairman Dave Nalle, in a statement, said the endorsement was a testament to Richardson's "commitment to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise.”

Richardson in 2010 mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge against Republican Dean Scontras in the 1st Congressional District. He has since moved to Belfast to claim residence in the 2nd CD.

Raye and Richardson debated last week on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Click here to watch it.


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Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.

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