Republican Bruce Poliquin Wins Maine Primary, Setting Up Rematch with Democrat Jared Golden
Breitbart | by Ashley Oliver | June 14, 2022
Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) won the Republican primary race in Maine’s Second District on Tuesday and now moves on to a rematch against Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) in the general election.
Poliquin was beating Caratunk Selectwoman Liz Caruso by a decisive 20 percent as of the time of this writing, according to unofficial results from the New York Times. The Associated Press called the race at 11:03 p.m.
Poliquin sent out a press statement after securing his victory, tying Golden to the nation’s pressing economic issues and vowing to bring “change” to Congress.
“Joe Biden’s policies are a disaster for Maine and America. Where has Jared Golden been? He has been nowhere in solving these problems,” Poliquin said. “In fact, he has joined Nancy Pelosi in voting more than 80% of the time for these failed policies. We need a change and that is what I will bring to Washington.”
Caruso released her own statement around 11:00 p.m., announcing she had called Poliquin to congratulate him and urging Mainers to unite behind his candidacy.
“I will be working hard to make sure Bruce wins this seat, and to make sure rural Maine’s voice continues to be heard,” Caruso said.
Poliquin represented the Second District for two terms, from 2015 to 2019, but was defeated by Golden by a razor-thin margin of one percent in his bid for a third term.
The Second District is one of just two districts in Maine and the far larger district in terms of area, covering about 80 percent of the state. It is also much more rural than the First District and includes the major cities of Lewiston and Bangor.
While former President Donald Trump lost to Biden in Maine in 2020, Trump won the Second District by about eight points, and Golden has been careful to vote moderately on key legislation since joining Congress while representing the Republican-friendly region.
Golden, who served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan, has broken with his party to vote against gun restrictions and stood out as the sole Democrat in November to oppose Biden’s Build Back Better Act, the marquee legislation of the president’s multitrillion-dollar spending agenda.
Regardless of Golden’s cautious voting, Democrats on the whole are facing grim prospects in November as Biden’s approval rating hovers at rock bottom and costs of everyday living increasingly strain the budgets of average Americans.
A biannual poll taken in Maine this year found Biden’s approval rating had sunk 20 points since the same poll’s last findings.
In the Second District, the poll found that on a generic ballot, a Republican candidate bested a Democrat candidate by 18 points, signaling Golden may have an uphill climb in his reelection pursuit.
Poliquin, on the other hand, will face the challenge of unseating a Democrat in deeply blue New England, where there are currently zero House Republicans and one Senate Republican, moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).
Republican groups rallied behind Poliquin after his win Tuesday night, and also behind his political ally former Gov. Paul LePage. LePage, though he ran unopposed on Tuesday, officially became the Republican gubernatorial nominee in the race to unseat Democrat Gov. Janet Mills.
“Today, Maine Republicans advanced phenomenal candidates to November’s general election,” Maine GOP Executive Director Jason Savage said in a statement.
“We’re ready to make the case to Maine voters that we represent change,” he added, noting that “just this week we saw $5 per gallon gas nationwide, we saw the stock market tank and retirement accounts decimated, and we have seen multiple examples of Joe Biden and Janet Mills’ sheer incompetence.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the campaign arm for congressional Republicans, has targeted Golden as vulnerable and put out a statement Tuesday congratulating Poliquin and bashing the Maine Democrat for “ineffective posturing.”
“Bruce has served the people of Maine well over the years and will continue to do so when he wins in November,” NRCC chair Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) said. “Jared Golden has nothing to offer voters but empty rhetoric and ineffective posturing that’s left Maine residents to deal with record inflation, skyrocketing fuel costs, and a crisis at our southern border.”
The Republican National Committee also celebrated the GOP nominees, saying in a press statement that Poliquin and LePage “will bring commonsense solutions to the Blaine House, the State House and Capitol Hill.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.