The two front-runners in Maine’s hotly contested 2nd Congressional District each had nearly $1.5 million in their campaign treasuries at the end of 2021, their campaigns said.

Bruce Poliquin, left, and Jared Golden during their first congressional race four years ago in Maine’s 2nd District. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press file

The cash-on-hand for both U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a two-term Lewiston Democrat, and Republican Bruce Poliquin of Orrington far exceeds the money raised by other contenders for the seat representing the largest district east of the Mississippi River.

Poliquin, a former congressman who lost his seat to Golden in 2018, pointed out on Twitter that he raised more than Golden in each of the last two quarters of 2021. And he’s not done beating the bushes for more.

“We will continue to work hard, to raise the necessary funds, and get our message out,” said Poliquin, whose filing with the Federal Election Commission on Monday showed he had $1.4 million left of the almost $1.5 million he raised in 2021.

Golden’s campaign also expressed happiness with his fundraising totals.

“We all know money doesn’t win elections in Maine, but Congressman Golden’s strong off-year fundraising report has helped put him in an excellent position heading into the 2022 election,” Golden’s campaign manager, Margaret Reynolds, said in a written statement.


Republican congressional hopeful Liz Caruso addressing the Somerset County Republican Committee in January. Submitted photo

Neither Golden nor Poliquin is assured of a place on the Nov. 8 general election ballot yet. Each face potential primary challenges.

Poliquin is trying to fend off Garret Swazey of Bangor and Elizabeth Caruso of Caratunk in a possible June 14 primary. Caruso raised $16,000 for her campaign during the final two months of 2021, according to her FEC report. It is not clear how much Swazey raised.

On the Democratic side, Golden’s potential primary challenger, Michael Sutton of Bangor, did not report any contributions. There has been no sign he is doing anything to gather the necessary signatures to force a primary.

The race also includes independent Tiffany Bond of Portland, who snatched 6% of the first-round vote in the 2018 race.

Another potential independent candidate, Jordan Borrowman of Lewiston, said Monday he’s quitting the race to deal with family issues.

Whoever the candidates may be by November, things are looking less than ideal for Golden’s reelection.


In 2018, when Golden squeaked out a narrow win over Poliquin, the average generic congressional ballot in national polls had Democrats up by 7.3%, according to Real Clear Politics. This year, the GOP is up by 4.1%.

That amounts to an 11.4% gap for Golden to overcome this year.

But Golden has shown he can overcome the Republican tilt in his sprawling district.

In 2020, President Donald Trump racked up 7.4% more votes in the 2nd District than Democrat Joe Biden did, winning its electoral vote in the process. But at the same time, Golden beat Republican Dale Crafts by getting 53% of the vote, while Crafts got 47%.

Overall, that meant Golden secured 8.2% more votes than Biden in the district.

The campaign finance reports for Golden and Swazey and Bond, if required, were not yet filed with the FEC on Monday afternoon. Their campaigns had until midnight to file within the legal deadline.

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