Thursday January 23, 2014 | 10:51 AM

There will be at least two Democratic candidates vying for the Senate District 25 seat this year, but Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, says he's not endorsing either of them.

Alfond, in a press statement issued by the Maine Democratic Party, said he he's staying neutral in a Democratic primary that is expected to include Steve Woods, a Yarmouth business owner and former U.S. Senate candidate, and Cathy Breen, a former Falmouth town councilor. 

"I welcome the announced candidacies of both Steve Woods and Cathy Breen for Senate District 25," Alfond said in the statement. "Both candidates are well-qualified and would serve the district and our state well. This seat is generating great interest from Democrats because they know how important it is to send a Democrat to Augusta." 

He added, "I will remain neutral in the primary. The nomination is up to the Democratic voters of this district, and we look forward to waging a vigorous campaign on behalf of the nominee immediately following the primary election on June 10th

Neither Woods, nor Breen have filed nomination papers, according to digital records on the Maine campaign finance website. Both candidates have entered the race following the withdrawal by Sen. Richard Woodbury, an independent from Yarmouth.

No Republican candidate has come forward, but the party certainly has a strong one in Chris Tyll, if he decides to run. Tyll lost to Woodbury in a hard-fought race in 2012 and received significant financial backing of a conservative-funded political action committee and help from the Maine Republican Party.

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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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