District Congressman Jared Golden speaks with lobstermen at a rally on the Portland waterfront on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The BDN Editorial Board operates independently from the newsroom, and does not set policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

Once again, campaigns and outside groups have spent an obscene amount of money in the race for Maine’s hotly contested 2nd Congressional District — often trying to define an opposing candidate. A whole bunch of accusations and narratives have been thrown around.

So we’ll try to keep it simple: Democratic Rep. Jared Golden continues to be a moderate and collaborative voice in Congress, Republican former Rep. Bruce Poliquin continues to remind us why he lost in 2018, and independent Tiffany Bond continues to not live in the district she is running to represent.

To us, the choice remains clear. Golden is the best option for 2nd District voters this year. He has proven himself willing to break with his party on major votes, including several instances when he opposed additional COVID-19 funding due to concerns about the size and scope of these spending packages. He has shown an ability to work across the aisle with Republicans to help secure significant legislative victories, like the bipartisan infrastructure deal that at times looked likely to falter until  commonsense and compromise won out. He has been a strong advocate for his fellow veterans and worked to improve the Affordable Care Act rather than scrapping it.

why we endorse

Golden has consistently beat the drum on good governance issues like reining in the ability of members of Congress (and other government officials) to trade individual stocks. While he and other reformers have not been able to win this uphill battle yet, they have helped raise the profile of this much-needed change in a way that will hopefully prove fruitful with continued work.

On these and others issues, Golden has demonstrated that he is willing to do the work.

“I’ve been right in the thick of some pretty big votes through the years. And in the last two, that’s been in some ways I guess more meaningful, since the margins are much narrower. And that has given me a unique opportunity to have a real impact as a pretty junior member of the House.” Golden told the BDN editorial board. “I feel pretty confident saying the infrastructure bill survived and became law because of my advocacy and work with a handful of other people in Congress – a handful of bipartisan people in the House and the Senate – that pretty much willed it into existence. And that was really important for the country.”

While Golden and Bond both took the time to discuss various issues with us as part of our endorsement process, our multiple attempts to secure an interview with Poliquin were unsuccessful. It is hard, then, not to be reminded of his history of avoiding the media — a practice he himself acknowledged as a Congressman in 2017. We also remember Poliquin’s votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, for tax cuts that boosted the deficit and primarily benefited the wealthy and for abortion restrictions.

Second District voters should remember how Poliquin handled his 2018 loss to Golden. It wasn’t the fact that challenged the newly implemented ranked-choice system in court, it was the way he went about it. As we said at the time, Poliqiun heaped “speculation and far-fetched rhetoric” on top of ultimately rejected constitutional arguments.

Gubernatorial Endorsement

Bond, an independent who also ran for the seat in 2018, is engaging, thoughtful and refreshingly blunt. Her appeal for more “boring, reasonable, competent nerds” writing our laws is spot on. Her approach to fundraising, where she encourages supporters to donate to worthy causes or spend money at local businesses rather than give to her campaign, is an admirable statement against a broken campaign finance system.

Call us old fashioned, but we do feel pretty strongly that someone should live in the district they are going to represent, even if that isn’t a technical requirement. And several years after she first ran to represent the 2nd District in the 2018 election, Bond still lives in Portland. We understand the challenges involved but we still think Bond should be running in the district where she lives, not the district where she wants or even plans to live.

Like 2018, this contest will once again be a ranked-choice election. And once again, Jared Golden remains the number one choice.

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The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...