Both candidates for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District are feeling optimistic about their chances at the polls on Tuesday, but they’ll continue spreading their message to voters throughout the day.

Democratic incumbent Mike Michaud and Republican challenger Kevin Raye both campaigned heavily Monday in Aroostook County and concluded the day in Bangor.

Raye, who has toured all of the district’s 11 counties since Thursday, said he has been buoyed by his supporters and he’s been looking forward to Tuesday.

“I’m feeling optimistic and encouraged,” Raye said by phone Monday while campaigning. “The response is very positive — there’s a lot of energy, electricity. I think it’s going to be a very good day tomorrow, a very good day.”

Likewise, Michaud shared his observations from the road Monday.

“I feel pretty good. I’m not going to stop campaigning until the polls close — I can’t take anything for granted — but it’s been a good campaign, and I’m looking forward to it coming to a close. I think everyone is,” Michaud said, laughing.

Michaud has a full slate of campaign stops planned for Tuesday. Beginning at 7 a.m., he will make the rounds in the Lewiston-Auburn area, then travel to stops in Kennebec, Somerset and Penobscot counties and stop for the night in East Millinocket to watch the returns.

Raye, the state Senate president, plans to greet voters at polling stations Tuesday throughout Penobscot County, with a concentration on Bangor and Brewer. He said his campaign message of bipartisanship has resonated with voters.

“Washington is broken. In Augusta, I have a proven record of bringing Republicans and Democrats together to solve problems,” Raye said. “That is a quality that is badly needed in Washington right now. People are responsive to that message, and I think they’re energized for change.”

Michaud said he has served as a diligent worker for Maine’s interests, and will continue to fight for veterans, farmers, manufacturers and more.

“We’ve been able to do a lot,” Michaud said. “There’s still a lot of work that has to be done, and I look forward to representing the people of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, should the voters send me back.”

The race for the 2nd District is a decade-old rematch. In 2002, Michaud edged Raye by 4 percentage points for an open seat in Washington, but Michaud has handily defeated other Republican challengers since their original contest.

In the last election, in 2010, Michaud bested Republican challenger Jason Levesque by 10 percentage points and more than 24,000 votes.

Over the last 10 years, Raye has become an influential state legislator and a successful small-business owner, which led many to speculate this would be the toughest fight of Michaud’s career.

 

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Ben McCanna can be contacted at 861-9239 or:

[email protected]

 

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