Emily Cain couldn’t defeat U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin on her own, but now she’s put the Maine Republican “On Notice” that Emily’s List is making him one of its top targets in next year’s election.

As executive director of the organization devoted to electing women, Cain, a Democrat who lost twice to Poliquin, said Emily’s List intends to flip his district to the Democratic column in 2018.

“I know Maine. I know Bruce Poliquin. And I know Maine women deserve far better than a so-called leader who cares more about himself than those he was elected to represent,” Cain said in a prepared statement.

Republican campaign consultant Brent Littlefield said that Emily’s List and other Washington-based organizations have spent $10 million over three years attacking Poliquin.

“Their efforts came up short,” he said.

Poliquin, who has $1.2 million in his campaign coffers, so far has three potential challengers in the 2nd District race, all of them Democratic men with little political experience or funding.


But other potential contenders are eyeing the race, including Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash and Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat who serves as the House majority whip in Augusta.

Emily’s List announced its intention Thursday to target 50 Republican incumbents, the most it’s ever gone after. It said that all of them “have amassed appallingly anti-woman, anti-family records.”

The 48 members of Congress and two senators, five of them women, put “On Notice” mistakenly “thought they could get away with voting time and again to roll back the clock on women’s rights,” Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock said.

“Women will flip the House of Representatives in 2018 – both our strong Democratic women candidates and women voters who are furious at the lack of leadership from their Republican representatives,” Schriock said.

She said that women voters are livid at Poliquin’s “shameful lack of courage and leadership – especially when it comes to protecting the safety and well-being of their families.” Schriock said exactly the same thing about a Buffalo congressman the group is also targeting.

She cited Poliquin’s vote in favor of a  Republican healthcare bill that would slice the number of Americans with insurance by 23 million during the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. She also said he’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood and undermine equal pay provisions for women workers.

Cain said that “rather than holding town halls and listening to Mainers’ justified concerns about his radical, anti-woman record, Poliquin hides from his constituents.”

“He has done nothing to prove that he cares about Maine’s women and families. He needs to go,” Cain said.

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