Maine Senate candidate says he's a democratic socialist

Maine Senate candidate says he's a democratic socialist
© YouTube/MaineDems

Maine Democratic Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein has announced that he is now a democratic socialist, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

Ringelstein had previously declined to say that he was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, but told the AP shortly afterward that he had officially joined the group.

The Democratic nominee is the only major-party Senate candidate to be a dues-paying democratic socialist, according to the AP.

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“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told the wire service. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”

The candidate made headlines last month when he was arrested outside an immigrant detention center as he attempted to bring supplies to children inside. Ringelstein is challenging Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget Shanahan grilled on Pentagon's border wall funding Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law MORE (I-Maine) in the Senate race.

Democratic Socialists of America told the AP that 42 candidates at the federal, state and local levels have earned a formal endorsement from the group.

The organization also hit 45,000 members nationwide last week. There were about 6,000 paid members ahead of Trump’s election.

Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among the high-profile democratic socialists running for office this year. Her stunning defeat of Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a Democratic primary last month sent shockwaves through the party.