Two-term U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin will head into a potentially tough re-election fight with nearly $2 million in his campaign coffers, far more than any of his Democratic challengers.
His year-end report to the Federal Election Commission will show the 2nd District Republican had $1.93 million on hand after spending little so far, his campaign reported.
The only challenger of his to have issued a Dec. 31 report yet, Lewiston Democrat Jared Golden, raised $345,000 last year. As of Sept. 30, the most any Democratic challenger had raised was $104,000.
Poliquin said in a prepared statement that in the past two elections “liberal, out-of-state, special interests have spent more than $7 million trying to defeat me.”
“Their false attacks fail because Maine people know I am fighting for our economy, our senior citizens, our veterans and our families,” Poliquin said. “I won’t give up fighting for Maine.”
According to Poliquin’s campaign, his fundraising is significantly higher than it was at a similar point in the 2016 race when he defeated Democrat Emily Cain by a wide margin. Poliquin defeated Cain in a close race in 2014 to claim an open seat.
Every declared congressional candidate must file a report by Jan. 31 detailing their fundraising and spending for 2017 if they raised or spent more than $5,000.
Five Democrats are vying for the chance to take on Poliquin: Golden, Lucas St. Clair, Tim Rich, Craig Olson and Jonathan Fulford. They will face off in a June primary.
A few independent and minor party candidates also are in the race.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (AP file photo)