Before any votes get counted, congressional candidates compete in part by seeing who can raise the most money.

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

In Maine’s 2nd District race, which is expected to be a tight one, two-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden has outpaced Republican challenger Bruce Poliquin in raising money, but he’s also spent more of it.

At the end of March, Poliquin had more cash in his campaign treasury than Golden did, according to statements issued by their campaigns.

Golden has raised nearly $3 million while Poliquin, who lives in Orrington, has raised almost $2 million. But Poliquin, a former member of Congress, had $1.86 million in his coffers while Golden had only a bit more than $1.7 million.

The only other candidate in the race, Republican Liz Caruso of Caratunk, has not released her fundraising totals yet, but they are expected to be dramatically less than either Poliquin or Golden. She faces Poliquin in the June 14 GOP primary.

Poliquin, who lost his seat in 2018 to Golden, said his “Bring Back Bruce” campaign “has hundreds of donors from across all 11 counties” in the sprawling district.

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Golden’s campaign pointed out that the Lewiston Democrat raised more money in the first quarter of 2022 than he did in 2018 or 2020, hauling in $635,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31. That appears to be more than Poliquin collected in the same period, but neither candidate’s formal report to the Federal Election Commission is yet available.

Golden’s campaign manager, Margaret Reynolds, called the incumbent’s “record-breaking first quarter numbers” just “another reminder of the wide support for the congressman’s work on behalf of the 2nd District.”

Poliquin thanked “the good people of Maine who continue to contribute to my campaign in many different ways for their trust, support and encouragement.”

So far, the campaign has been relatively quiet, but political observers anticipate a tough, high-profile contest in the months ahead as both parties focus on the seat because it is widely considered among the most competitive in the country.

Republicans are determined to regain control of the House, which they lost in 2018, while Democrats hope to hang on to their majority.

Some anticipate the race will cost more than $20 million, with most of the cash paying for television commercials. The spending will come from candidates, political parties and a wide array of political action committees.

One independent has been gathering signatures to claim a spot on the general election ballot, Portland lawyer Tiffany Bond, who ran in 2018 and got 6% of the overall vote in the ranked-choice race.

Two Augusta men, Joshua Brewster and Samson Gregory, have filed with the FEC as potential candidates in the district for the U.S. Independent Conservative Party. But their filings contain errors, and it is not clear who they are. Efforts to reach them were unsuccessful.


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