Republican U.S. Senate candidate Max Linn of Bar Harbor is seen in this file photo at a hearing regarding alleged problems with signatures on his ballot access petitions. Credit: Christopher Cousins

Republican Max Linn — twice rebuffed in state courts — continued his fight for inclusion in next week’s U.S. Senate primary election with a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court.

The new suit, filed in U.S. District Court by 14 of Linn’s supporters, seeks to block Secretary of State Matt Dunlap from ordering municipal election clerks to post notices at polling locations to inform voters that even though Linn’s name appears on the ballot, votes for him will be counted as blanks. The suit also seeks to force Dunlap to count votes for Linn after the election.

Until he was disqualified, Linn was set for a primary contest with state Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, for the right to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent. Zak Ringelstein is the only Democrat on his party’s primary ballot.

Linn, whose campaign slogan is “Trump Strong,” was booted out of the election last month during a legal roller coaster that culminated in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upholding an earlier ruling that too many of the signatures on Linn’s ballot access paperwork were faulty or forged, including some from people who are dead. The ruling, which also upheld a decision by Dunlap, put Linn short of the 2,000 signatures needed to secure a place in the primary election.

Linn, a financial planner from Bar Harbor who previously ran as a third-party candidate for governor in Florida, has nonetheless operated as if he is still in the race, posting signs across the state, buying advertising and sending mailers.

Linn argues that Dunlap improperly disqualified valid signatures because they appeared on the same petitions as signatures that were determined to be invalid.

The Maine Republican Party has said it recognizes Brakey as the only Republican candidate in the race.

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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.