Politics

Golden Leads Maine’s 2nd’s Congressional District Race

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Grace Carr Reporter
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Democratic candidate Jared Golden leads Maine’s Tuesday 2nd Congressional District primary and is expected to win the election when officials finish counting the votes.

With 68 percent of the district voting, Maine House Majority Leader and Marine Corps vet Golden captured 49.7 percent of the vote. Conservationist Lucas St. Clair garnered 40.6 percent of the vote and bookseller Craig Olson received 9.7 percent of the vote.

Since Golden did not not receive 50 percent of the vote, officials will continue counting second and third place votes until a winner emerges. Rep. Golden’s lead appears to be insurmountable, and he will likely face Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the general election.

Golden will attempt to defeat incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who was first elected in 2014 and again in 2016, winning the seat back from the Democrats’ 20-year long run. Golden will have a difficult task given that Poliquin has raised almost double the money of his opponents, but he is popular and gained notoriety after working for Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Golden had a significant monetary advantage going into the primaries, but experts predicted the race would be tight. (RELATED: Tom Perez Dragged Through Mud By His Own Party After Supporting Cuomo)

“The farmers, the fishermen, the people working in logging and recreation, they’re working hard and they want to know what [their representative] is doing and how they’re doing it,” former Gov. John Baldacci said before election night, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Maine’s 2nd Congressional District is the largest district on the east coast. The district supported former President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, but backed President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Maine used “ranked-choice voting,” a system that has never been used in any statewide U.S. election previously. Rank-choice voting means that voters rank the candidates based on preference rather than voting for one candidate. If one candidate is the first choice of a majority of voters, that candidate wins the primary. If not, the candidate who received the least first-choice votes is eliminated. The votes of those who ranked the eliminated candidate first are given to their second choice candidate and the counting resumes until one candidate receives a majority.

Officials hope to announce the results of the district’s elections by June 20.

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