AUGUSTA, Maine — With no more time to field replacements for Maine legislative candidates who have withdrawn, more than a dozen House and Senate races will go uncontested by Republicans and Democrats in a particularly competitive election year.
Democrats have no candidates in one Senate and nine House districts, while Republicans are leaving one Senate race and three in the House uncontested. The deadline was 5 p.m. Monday for the political parties to file the names of legislative candidates who are replacing the 48 who withdrew since the June primaries.
But neither party made much Tuesday of the numbers and said their strong slates of candidates made them optimistic about their chances of winning majorities in November.
‘‘Our team is motivated and confident that Maine voters will want to send more Republicans to Augusta to become part of the solution that is working,’’ said House Speaker Robert Nutting, Republican of Oakland, adding that ‘‘small-business owners, farmers, fishermen, and teachers, people from every walk of life’’ are among the candidates.
With all 186 seats open in November, Republicans said recruitment for party candidates was at an all-time high.
Democrats said they are not worried that they have more than twice as many uncontested races as the Republicans.
The District 11 Senate seat uncontested by Democrats is occupied by Senator Richard Woodbury, independent of Yarmouth, who caucuses with Democrats, said Democratic Party spokeswoman Lizzy Reinholt. More than half the House races uncontested by Democrats feature strong independents who are seen as likely to vote with her party, Reinholt said.
Mary-Erin Casale, the party’s executive director, said that recruiting Democratic candidates for this election was relatively easy, considering the large number of seats for a small state, though many recruits expressed concerns about whether they could afford the time commitment to the Legislature while the economy remains slow.
‘‘I’m pretty proud of the 142 candidates’’ who have stepped forward, Casale said.
Legislative campaigns are unusually intense this year, with Democrats hoping to wrest back from Republicans majorities they had enjoyed for decades. Republicans hold a 77-to-70 lead in the House, which also has two unenrolled members and two seats vacant.
Republicans are hoping to build on a record of easing state regulations, tax cuts, paring welfare programs, and other changes they made during the current two-year session, the first in nearly a half century in which their party controlled the House, Senate, and the governor’s office.