Steve Woods, the Yarmouth businessman who lost a Democratic primary contest in Maine Senate District 25 earlier this month, has filed a written request with the state ethics commission to investigate the Falmouth Democratic Town Committee’s endorsement of his opponent, Cathy Breen.

In a three-page complaint, which the commission will take up Wednesday, Woods contends that Breen, committee chairwoman Pam Fenrich, state party Chairman Ben Grant and the Maine Democratic Party as an organization “conspired and acted with deliberate intent to sabotage my campaign.”

Woods argued that an email endorsing Breen sent by the Falmouth Democratic Town Committee a few days before the election was in fact an endorsement made by individuals who supported Breen, including her treasurer, who happened to also be members of the town committee.

In an interview Tuesday, Woods claimed to have a written contract from the Maine Democratic Party agreeing not to endorse a candidate in his race. He declined to provide a copy of the contract and said he plans to submit it to the commission with other records at Wednesday’s meeting.

Executive director Jonathan Wayne, in a June 20 memo to the commission, said it’s unclear whether Woods’ concerns lie within the commission’s jurisdiction, which largely involves regulating campaign finance disclosures and registration. Wayne said the staff requested information from Fenrich and from Breen’s campaign to determine whether there was coordinated spending or contributions between the town committee and the campaign, which would be illegal.

No evidence of such a violation was found, Wayne’s memo concluded.

In documents attached to his complaint, Woods included emails that detail his frustration during his primary campaign with Democratic party leaders, including Fenrich, who also serves as vice chair of the state party. According to Woods, Maine Democratic Party leaders told him in March that Fenrich would remain neutral in the race.

But at a May 28 meeting of the Falmouth Democratic Town Committee, a member motioned for the committee to endorse Breen.

Fenrich, a longtime friend and political colleague of Breen, recused herself. The endorsement by the Falmouth committee was announced to town Democrats by email list a few days before the election.

Fenrich, reached Tuesday, said her endorsement of Breen via a separate email on June 5 was a personal one, and did not carry the stamp of the party or the local committee.

Woods, in an email included in the ethics commission complaint, fired back at the party, demanding action.

In the message, he called the endorsement “unbelievable.”

“I literally cannot believe that the Vice-Chair of Maine’s Democratic Party sabotaged my primary campaign with a blast email just a few days before the election – when it is most damaging.”

Woods demanded either the party endorse him publicly in a press release he would co-author, or arrange for a public endorsement by U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud.

The party did neither, and two days later, Woods was drubbed at the polls, receiving 1,028 votes to Breen’s 2,163.

There is no campaign law in Maine that regulates who may or may not endorse a candidate for public office. Such activity generally falls under First Amendment protections for political speech. Although the Maine Democratic Party asked county and town committees to refrain from making endorsements, there is nothing in the party’s bylaws preventing them from doing so, Grant, the party’s state chairman, wrote in a response to Woods.

No one on the Breen campaign who participated in the committee vote was paid by the campaign, although two officers of the Falmouth committee – Bonny Rodden and John Brautigam – contributed seed money to Breen’s clean-election campaign, which spent far less than Woods, whose largely self-funded effort cost more than $50,000.

Fenrich did not have an official role in the Breen campaign, but “provided occasional advice to the candidate,” according to her campaign.

Breen, reached Tuesday, said she flatly denies all allegations against her.

“I think that the Democrats of senate District 25 have spoken, and it’s time to move on,” Breen said. She said her campaign was helped by the endorsement and support by several public officials, including the Cumberland and Falmouth Democratic committees.

“But that’s in no way unusual,” she said. “That’s what they do in every election cycle.”