Maine Republican announces bid to return to Congress

Maine Republican announces bid to return to Congress
© Camille Fine

Former Rep. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinMaine Republican announces bid to return to Congress Trump battle with Fox News revived by Arizona projection Rep. Jared Golden wins reelection in Maine MORE (R-Maine), who was defeated by a Democratic challenger in 2018, announced on Wednesday that he is running to reclaim his seat in the House.

Poliquin, who had represented Maine’s 2nd Congressional District since 2014 before losing to now-Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), said he is running to “bring Maine common sense back to Washington.”

In a statement announcing his campaign, the Republican said “our nation is in trouble” because of a progressive class of Democrats “pushing our country too far to the left.”

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He specifically cited rising inflation, struggling small businesses, the influx of migrants at the border, increased spending and debt and “liberals pushing an agenda of defunding law enforcement,” among other issues, as reasons why he decided to throw his hat back in the ring.

“Our country has serious problems and it’s getting worse because liberal politicians with extreme beliefs are making policy decisions that hurt families and our small business job creators here in Maine,” Poliquin wrote.

“It cannot continue. It cannot continue,” he added.

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Poliquin will first have to face off against two other GOP candidates, state Sen. Trey Stewart and state Rep. Michael Perkins, who are both vying for the Republican nomination to take on Golden.

The former representative passed on a bid for his old seat in 2019, announcing that he would not run for the House in 2020 because of “families priorities.”

He lost a close race to Golden in 2014, which was the first time the ranked-choice voting system was used for U.S. congressional elections.

A winner was not announced for more than a week. Poliquin sued to try and stop the ranked-choice system from being used for the race, but a judge ultimately denied the request.

The race ended as the most expensive in Maine’s history, with more than $20 million shelled out by the candidates and outside groups, according to The Associated Press.

"I was born and raised right here in Maine, right in the middle our state in the Waterville / Oakland area. I have been all over the Second District and fought hard for the Second District in Congress. People know me. They know I have, and I will, fight for them. That is why I am running for Congress," Poliquin wrote in his announcement statement.

The Hill reached out to Golden for comment.