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Zak Ringelstein, center, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Maine, eats a potluck dinner during a gathering prior to a meeting of the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America at City Hall in Portland, Maine, Monday, July 16, 2018. On the ground in dozens of states, there is new evidence that democratic socialism is taking hold as a significant force in Democratic politics. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn't quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization's values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

By STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press July 21, 2018