Independent state Rep. Marty Grohman of Biddeford announced Tuesday that he will challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree for her congressional seat, setting up an at least three-way general election contest.

Grohman, a former Democrat who unenrolled from the party in September 2017, is nearing the end of his second term in the Legislature and said Tuesday he is not seeking re-election. Grohman told the Bangor Daily News that he wants to serve in Congress to “work together” with Republicans and Democrats.

“I don’t think that anybody thinks what is going on right now is working in Washington,” Grohman said. “I know I would be just one voice, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

Grohman, who manages a roofing manufacturing company, has not yet filed candidacy paperwork, according to the Federal Election Commission’s website. Pingree and Mark Holbrook, a counselor from Brunswick who won a 2016 Republican primary for the seat but lost to Pingree in the general election, have qualified for the ballot.

When he left the Democratic Party, Grohman told the Bangor Daily News he was bothered by the influence of “special interest groups” in Augusta and thought he could accomplish more as an independent.

Pingree is seeking her sixth term representing the southern and coastal Maine district. She easily beat Holbrook in 2016.

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Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.