It should be no surprise that this newspaper has endorsed my opponent, Kevin Raye, to take the Republican nomination for Congress.

The BDN editorial board tells Republicans they should vote for Raye because he is “willing to stray from party orthodoxy when it proves damaging.” During his lifetime in politics, Raye certainly has voted against many common sense conservative principles which the newspaper likely finds “damaging.”

Raye voted to raise boat registration fees by $5 and in-state fees for hunting licenses by $4 as part of the 2009 state budget, penalizing our sportsmen and women. He gave in to the argument that savings could not be found in the state budget to avoid these fee increases.

Also as part of the 2009 state budget, he voted not only to keep the “death tax” but to expand it by taxing gifts made within one year of someone’s death. This hurts many small family businesses, including family farms, in the 2nd District.

Raye refuses to join me in promising Maine families not to vote to raise taxes by signing the Americans for Tax Reform pledge. He wants to keep open the option to increase taxes even though Maine families pay among the highest taxes in America. The $17 trillion national debt is a fiscal crisis smothering our economy and killing jobs. Washington doesn’t have a tax revenue problem; it has an out-of-control spending and borrowing problem.

Obamacare is an unaffordable big government program that’s eroding our health care choices, driving up taxes and killing jobs. The BDN supports Obamacare. Republicans, including me, overwhelmingly oppose it.

And Raye? Before Obamacare became law, Raye voted in 2009 for a Democratic bill — LD 1002 — to spend thousands of state taxpayer dollars to study the introduction of a government-run, single-payer takeover of our private health care system in Maine — a move more extreme than Obamacare.

Later, Raye joined a legislative committee that recommended a Maine Obamacare exchange. Thank goodness Gov. Paul LePage and other fiscally conservative Republicans had the wisdom to reject this big government financial calamity.

As a Republican, I want our students to have the greatest number of school choices for their education. The BDN discourages allowing parochial schools, including Maine’s long tradition of Catholic and Christian schools, to receive the same support as private institutions. Raye sided with this newspaper and Democrats by voting against allowing a level playing field for these schools.

Maine people in our 2nd Congressional District, of both political parties, generally agree with protecting the lives unborn children. I do. It’s the same position U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, embraced when first elected to this congressional seat; he has since flip-flopped.

During one Legislature, Raye voted 83 percent of the time with the wishes of abortion providers, according to Project Vote Smart. One of his largest campaign donations is from a Washington, D.C., pro-abortion political action committee — Republican Majority for Choice.

The BDN editorial board asks Republicans to vote for Raye because it feels he can help fix Congress with “regular, relationship-building get-togethers.” I don’t believe congressional gridlock can be solved by coffee breaks.

Going along with Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi has resulted in unthinkable government waste and a $17 trillion mountain of debt. I prefer standing up for what is right; working hard to convince others to adopt common-sense conservative solutions; and telling voters the truth without political spin. Our 2nd District families deserve nothing less.

Raye is a nice-enough fellow who has received a government paycheck in one form or another for 25 years. Presenting himself as a career politician, he’s lost twice to Democrats for this congressional seat. We 2nd District Republicans will face another test in November with the same voters. My 35 years of real business experience, difficult reforms as state treasurer, and consistent conservative values are a true contrast for voters in November.

In our GOP primary election this Tuesday, I’d greatly appreciate the votes of my fellow Mainers concerned about wasteful government spending, surging debt and the need for well-paying jobs.

Republican Bruce Poliquin is seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.