There will be a Republican congressional primary in Maine’s sprawling 2nd District this year.

Two contenders, Liz Caruso of Caratunk and Bruce Poliquin of Orrington, filed the necessary petitions this week with the state to secure a spot on the June 14 primary ballot. It is unclear if anyone else will join the contest before the March 15 deadline.

Poliquin, a former two-term member of the U.S. House, has a big fundraising advantage and far more name recognition.

Liz Caruso, left, Bruce Poliquin, right Contributed photos

But Caruso has been talking for months to GOP committees throughout the district to raise her visibility and give her at least an outside chance of upsetting Poliquin, who has the backing of party leaders in the nation’s capital.

The winner of the primary will take on two-term U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, in the November general election. At least one independent, Tiffany Bond of Portland, is gathering signatures to claim a space on the general election ballot as well.

Caruso said her success in gathering the required signatures shows that “hardworking Mainers are mobilizing for the real change we need in DC.”

Poliquin said voters are ready to send a message to Democrats like Golden who “are sending us down the wrong path — big time.”

Poliquin lost his U.S. House seat in 2018 when Golden defeated him in the nation’s first ranked-choice voting race for a federal election. Golden fended off Dale Crafts of Lisbon in 2020 to keep the seat, but the district remains among the most closely split in the nation.

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