This combination of file photos shows former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in 2017, left, and Rep. Jared Golden in 2018, right. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden outraised challenger Bruce Poliquin in the first quarter of 2022, but Poliquin had more cash left while the two prepare for an expensive rematch in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Golden’s campaign reported raising $635,000 during the first three months of the year, bringing the Democrat’s total fundraising to roughly $2.9 million, compared to roughly $500,000 for Poliquin, whose total fundraising now nears $2 million. But the Republican challenger’s campaign reported nearly $1.9 million cash on hand after spending relatively little, compared to only $1.7 million for Golden.

Both campaigns announced their fundraising numbers ahead of Friday’s campaign finance deadline with the Federal Election Commission. Neither had filed formal finance reports that detail exact fundraising and spending figures.

Golden narrowly defeated Poliquin in 2018 in what was at that time the most expensive congressional race in Maine’s history. The candidates and outside groups spent a combined more than $23 million, according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit that tracks campaign finance. This year’s race is expected to again attract significant spending as Golden is a top target for national Republicans in their efforts to take back control of the U.S. House.

Poliquin will first face a primary with Caratunk selectman Liz Caruso. She was the only other Republican to get enough signatures to make the June primary ballot but has struggled with fundraising so far, bringing in just $16,000 through the end of last year.