By CHRISTIAN WADE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — Money continues to flow into Maine’s most expensive congressional race, with supporters of incumbent Democratic Rep. Jared Golden and Republican challenger Bruce Poliquin spending big on the nationally watched contest.
Rep. Golden, a Democrat seeking a second term, raised more than $2.8 million in the three months ending Sept. 30, compared to more than $1 million raised by Mr. Poliquin’s campaign, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures for the 3rd quarter, which were due Saturday.
As of Sept. 30, both candidates had a similar amount of campaign funds available, with FEC disclosure’s showing Mr. Poliquin reporting about $1.5 million to Golden’s $1.3 million with just three weeks remaining before the election.
To date, Rep. Golden has raised more than $5.1 million and spent nearly $4 million, while Mr. Poliquin has raised more than $3.3 million and spent more than $1.8 million, according to FEC disclosures.
Rep. Golden, a former Marine veteran, narrowly beat Mr. Poliquin in 2018 in a race that was ultimately decided by ranked-choice voting more than a week after the election.
Mr. Poliquin, who represented the 2nd Congressional District from 2015 to 2019, edged out fellow Republican Liz Caruso in the June state primary to win the GOP’s nomination. On the campaign trail, he has focused on pocketbook issues and has criticized Rep. Golden over his support for President Biden’s economic policies.
“Inflation is out of control, gas prices are too high, our borders are being overrun, and our economy is in jeopardy. Joe Biden’s policies are a disaster for Maine and America,” Mr. Poliquin said in a recent statement. “Where has Jared Golden been? He has been nowhere in solving these problems.”
The 2nd District, one of Maine’s two congressional seats, is considered competitive and is being closely watched by political observers as Republicans push to retake the House of Representatives in the midterms.
Former Republican President Donald Trump carried the 2nd District handily in the 2020 elections, peeling off one the state’s four electoral votes.
Both candidates have benefitted from outside spending by national Republican and Democratic groups with control of Congress in the balance.
Tiffany Bond of Portland is running as an independent candidate for the congressional seat. She hasn’t reported raising any money.