Jared Golden talks about his successful race to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for his second term during an event Wednesday in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — With a message of civility and bipartisanship, first-term U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, won reelection in a district that remains solidly Republican.

Jared Golden approaches the podium Wednesday before talking about his successful reelection to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District during an event in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Golden defeated GOP challenger Dale Crafts of Lisbon by a 53-47% margin the 38-year-old lawmaker called “a pretty good-sized victory” in territory so friendly to President Donald Trump.

Shrugging off advice from political consultants, Golden said his campaign stuck to the issues and emphasized his record on Capitol Hill and across the second most rural congressional district in America.

“We showed that voters are hungry for a positive tone, for positive leadership and civility in our public space,” Golden said in a short speech delivered at Democratic headquarters on Lisbon Street.

Golden said that Crafts, who could not be reached, phoned him to concede mid-day Wednesday.

He said they had a good talk and that he had enjoyed getting to know Crafts better during the campaign. He also thanked his old state legislative colleague for his willingness to serve and promised to talk with him in the future about his ideas for helping Maine.

Golden was considered one of the more vulnerable Democrats in the U.S. House after he won by a narrow margin against a two-term Republican in 2018.

But he proved tougher than some of the pundits predicted, focusing on constituent service and catering to the needs of his district with a low-key style that resonated among Mainers.

“I haven’t been perfect,” Golden said, “but I’ve tried to deliver the kind of leadership Mainers tell me they want.”

In the House, he voted against installing California Democrat Nancy Pelosi as speaker and vowed to oppose her once again in his second term. He also voted against two COVID-19 relief bills pushed by Pelosi that he argued were too partisan.

Golden also attracted national attention as one of only two legislators on Capitol Hill to cross party lines on the impeachment of Trump last winter.

Golden voted in favor of only one of two counts brought against the president in the House. The only other lawmaker to break with his party was U.S.Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a Republican who voted to convict Trump after his Senate trial.

Golden said he is humbled to serve the district and tries to show leadership.

He urged Mainers who worry about the election to trust the system and let authorities count the votes cast in this year’s election across the country.

“Keep the faith not only in our country and democracy but also in each other,” Golden said.

“These are challenging times for our democracy,” with many difficult issues facing people, from the pandemic to the economy.

Solving them, he said, is going to take leaders to work across the aisle with members of the other party. He said he will “work with anyone” to get things done that will benefit Maine.

“What good does partisan gridlock bring anyway?” Golden asked.

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