Election denial is a slippery slope, and the Republican running for the U.S. House seat in Maine’s 2nd District is sliding down fast and trying to drag us down with him.

Bruce Poliquin, the two-term congressman who lost his 2018 bid for reelection to Rep. Jared Golden, is back for another round. Poliquin won his primary on Tuesday by a comfortable margin over (far right extremist) Liz Caruso.

On paper, Poliquin seems like a passable choice to represent us in Congress. He has been a fixture in Maine Republican politics for over a decade. Still, he’s complicit in Donald Trump’s efforts to sabotage our democracy by enabling his lies about the 2020 election.

AUGUSTA, ME – MAY 10: Bruce Poliquin speaks during a rally in support of gun rights before a day of testimony on gun bills in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee on Friday May 10, 2019 at the Maine State House in Augusta. (Staff photo by Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer) Staff photo by Joe Phelan

2020 isn’t the first time Poliquin tried to undermine a free and fair election. He first flirted with the idea in October 2018 when, during a debate, he refused to commit to accepting the results of the election if he lost. He quickly followed through, filing a lawsuit against the state before the tabulation of votes even began. This power-grab attempt was swiftly thrown out.

Just two years later, Poliquin refused to accept the results of another election. Recently, when asked if he believes that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, he evaded the question and then pitched his own candidacy. Poliquin seems to think that he or his chosen candidates can’t lose elections fair and square.

During this same interview, Poliquin compared the insurrection on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to the Black Lives Matter protests that broke out in Portland during the summer of 2020. Poliquin was given the opportunity to stand with democracy and put our country over his own political ambition, and he failed. While riots are bad, Portland rioters didn’t show up at Joe Biden’s request the way the Jan. 6 crowd showed up for Trump.

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Trump is likely eyeing his own comeback attempt in 2024. The nation already witnessed how Trump reacted to losing a free and fair election in 2020 — he claimed that the vote was rigged despite an absence of actual evidence. However, this is tame compared to the plan that Trump and his allies have developed for 2024. According to recently reported intel published by Politico, “MAGA” loyalists are positioning themselves within the election system to put Trump back in the White House — even if he loses the election.

Poliquin has already revealed his political philosophy: party over country. If we send him back to Washington, he will help Trump capture not only our party, but the entire country.

The people of northern Maine have proudly elected Republicans in the majority of our elections — Republicans with impeccable credentials and integrity, from Ronald Reagan to Olympia Snowe. Poliquin has shown us that he does not represent our traditional Republican values: He is more loyal to one man than they are to the Constitution.

Maine Republicans once again have the opportunity to lead the GOP down the path of integrity. As Maine goes, so goes the nation. If we vote for conspiracy theorists, we will show the nation that we are no better than the extremists who have become the loudest, most divisive voices in the GOP. We’re better than that.

Let’s show our fellow Republicans that Maine stands for democracy above all else.

David Andrew is a Republican who lives in Auburn.


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