Democratic Rep. Jared Golden is projected to win reelection, defeating Republican Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which was one of the most highly contested midterm races this year.
The district is one of 13 Democratic-held House districts carried by former President Donald Trump in 2020. The Cook Political Report rated the race as a tossup. The Associated Press projected Golden as the winner after the contest headed to a ranked-choice runoff.
Golden is a moderate known to go against party lines on critical votes. In 2021, he was the only Democrat to vote against the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package and the only Democrat who voted against the Build Back Better Act because the bill included a tax break for millionaires.
Golden bucked his party once more this summer when he voted against an assault weapons ban, and he criticized President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt.
“I think, sometimes, I don’t agree with my party’s characterization of the most pressing needs at the moment,” Golden told Politico in October.
However, Golden has voted in support of several Democratic priorities, including bills to codify Roe v. Wade and marriage equality. He also supported the infrastructure bill, legislation to increase microchip manufacturing, and the Democrats’ climate change and health care bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
His key campaign promises this year included reforming campaign finance, cleaning up corruption, and expanding health care coverage.
Golden beat Poliquin for the same seat in 2018, winning by a razor-thin margin to become the first candidate in the district in more than a century to unseat an incumbent and the first member of Congress elected via ranked-choice voting.
Born and raised in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, the now-40-year-old congressman enlisted at age 19 in the U.S. Marines in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.