Tuesday February 15, 2011 | 08:53 AM

Andrew Ian Dodge isn't just a Tea Party activist who says he will challenge GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine in the 2012 Republican primary – he is also British royalty, of sorts.

A reader passed along an item in Politico noting that Dodge, formerly the head of the Maine Tea Party Patriots until he resigned Monday night in the wake of announcing his candidacy, has noted his Lord's title on a blog site. That Politico item was prompted by an attendee at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the place where Dodge on Friday announced his challenge to Snowe.

Reached this morning, Dodge confirmed in a phone interview that he does possess the title.

But he said it is basically an honorary title purchased for him back in the 1990s, by his mother as a birthday present. It is akin, he said, to having someone buy a piece of the moon for you as a present. Dodge has lived in England on and off, he says, and his wife is British; plus his Dodge family name dates back centuries in England, to the Norman invasion of 1066, Dodge said.

The title has "no property and no power" attached to it, Dodge said. He says he is a Maine resident who lives in Harpswell.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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