FREEPORT (AP) — Emily Cain has support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Emily’s List and others, but challenger Joe Baldacci says he has what it takes to win.
The two Democrats vying for the opportunity to face Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race in 2016 will meet for the first time Sunday at the party’s annual Muskie Lobster Bake. Both candidates will address the crowd before Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivers the keynote address.
Cain lost to Poliquin in 2014 but quickly regrouped for another match, and she’s already received national interest.
“Her strong local and state support combined with her record of accomplishments for Maine people as a state legislator and strong fundraising numbers are why Emily has caught the eye of national groups focused on this race,” says Sara Stevens, a former state representative from Bangor.
Cain has attended fundraisers held by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC. Emily’s List, which supports Democratic women, is helping out, as well.
Cain said she’s encouraged by the early endorsements and support. “We need a voice in Congress who will bring everyone to the table and stand up for what matters most to Maine’s working families,” she said when she announced her candidacy in March.
But Baldacci says out-of-state endorsements don’t matter.
“I don’t think the politicians in Washington are going to control the election in Maine. Mainers get to vote for who they want to represent them, not D.C.,” he said.
He says he has a message that’ll resonate with voters in the sprawling district, which covers the vast majority of Maine except for the southeastern coast, and provide a path to victory against Poliquin.
“I have a message of fighting for people and for bread-and-butter economic issues. It’s a message that can win,” the Bangor lawyer says.
His campaign slogan — “Maine Born, Maine Bred, Maine First” — appears to be a poke at Cain, who was born in Kentucky and lived in Illinois before attending the University of Maine.
Baldacci, who’s a Bangor native like his brother, former Gov. John Baldacci, says he’s not trying to put Cain down. He says he’s just showing he’s proud to be a Mainer.