GOP loses 2 House candidates in South Portland, Cape Elizabeth

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Republican candidates in state House District 31 and District 32 have withdrawn, leaving the districts’ incumbent Democratic representatives unopposed in the Nov. 4 election.

Stephen Popp on Wednesday said has withdrawn his candidacy in District 31. State election officials in Augusta said they received his official withdrawal on Thursday. 

Popp declined to disclose the reason for his withdrawal, which all but clears the way for incumbent Democratic Rep. Terry Morrison to win his fourth consecutive term in the House. 

“I’ve never have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Popp in my six years of service, and I wish him all the best in the future,” Morrison said this week. 

In the 2013 redistricting, South Portland’s former House District 122 became House District 31. It encompasses the northernmost coastal peninsula of South Portland down to the Cape Elizabeth border, and ends at the Casco Bay Bridge.

Another Republican candidate, Kenneth “Jake” Myrick, withdrew from the House District 32 race on Aug. 20.

This election would have marked Myrick’s third campaign for a House seat; he lost to Democrat Jane Eberle in 2010, and in a three-way race in 2012 to current Democratic state Rep. Scott Hamann. 

Myrick, program director at the Portland Boys and Girls Club, said Wednesday he withdrew because of health problems, and that he “couldn’t give 100 percent to a campaign.”

Hamann will now be unopposed on the ballot for a second term in the House.

“I was disappointed to hear that Jake withdrew from the race,” Hamann said in a statement Wednesday. “I genuinely enjoyed getting to know him during the 2012 race, and while we disagree on a number of key issues we have always treated each other with respect.”

In the 2013 redistricting, South Portland’s former House District 123 became House District 32. It encompasses the mid-section of the city and a small northwestern tip of Cape Elizabeth.

Shelby Carignan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow her on Twitter: @shelbycarignan.