PORTLAND, Maine — A tea party candidate who plans to run against Sen. Olympia Snowe in next year’s Senate Republican primary is inviting Snowe to debate him.

Andrew Ian Dodge of Harpswell said he has sent a letter to Snowe asking for a debate at a time and location agreeable to both of them.

Dodge, who has called Snowe a “rubber stamp” for President Obama, says Mainers want to see an honest debate in an open forum.

Snowe said she looks forward to debating candidates who “qualify to be on next year’s primary ballot.”

Dodge said he has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission, but won’t be able to qualify for the ballot until next year when he turns in the required number of signatures to Maine election officials.