Cumberland County Courthouse

The Republican running for district attorney in Cumberland County is ending his campaign, leaving a Democrat and an independent competing to lead Maine’s busiest prosecutor’s offices.

Randall Bates said Tuesday he is dropping out of the race to succeed Republican District Attorney Stephanie Anderson, who has held the office since 1991.

An official with Maine Secretary of State’s Office said they have not yet received official, written notice of Bates’ withdrawal and that it is too late for his name to be removed from ballots. If he does formally withdraw, votes cast for Bates will not be counted in the race.

The Yarmouth lawyer said in a statement that “it is just not the right time for me to take this step” and that he looks forward to continuing to work as a defense attorney. Campaign finance records show that Bates raised only $25 as of late July.

Bates’ exit leaves Democratic defense attorney Jon Gale and Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck, an independent, competing for the lead prosecutor job. The Republican did not endorse one of his opponents, saying that “either will serve the citizens of Cumberland County well.”

[Maine’s busiest district attorneys are stepping down. Here’s who wants to replace them.]

Bates did not face a Republican primary challenger, while Gale beat out two other Democrats to win his party’s nomination and Sahrbeck did not have to run in a primary.

As of the last campaign fundraising reports, Gale, a Portland resident, had raised far more money than Sahrbeck, though the Cape Elizabeth resident entered the general election season with more cash on hand.

Gale had raised more than $30,000 and spent all but $2,000 as of July, while Sahrbeck had raised $14,000 and had $4,000 on hand.

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