Dec. 24, 2018: Incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, drops his federal lawsuit claiming that he, not Democrat Jared Golden, should have won the Nov. 6 election for his seat.

Golden was declared the winner under Maine’s new ranked-choice voting system.

Running for re-election against three challengers, Poliquin was the top vote-getter, but fell short of a clear majority in the first tally. When votes received by the third- and fourth-place finishers were redistributed to their second and third choices, in accordance with the new law, Golden came out on top.

Poliquin became the first incumbent since 1916 to lose a bid for re-election to the seat.

He says his opinion about the system has not changed, but he believes dropping the lawsuit is in Maine residents’ best interests.

In November, he sued Secretary of State Matt Dunlap two days before the election results were released. U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker ruled that day against Poliquin’s attempt to get the ranked-choice tabulation postponed, and in December against Poliquin’s challenge to the voting method. The two-term congressman then appealed to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected that challenge as well.

Dunlap said in mid-December that Poliquin would be required to pay $14,560.52 to cover the expense of an election recount that the congressman had requested.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at:


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