LEWISTON — The first Democratic congressional candidate to release his campaign finances for the last quarter of 2017 is touting his success as evidence that his message is resonating with voters.

State Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, announced Thursday that he raised $240,245 in the last quarter from more than 2,700 people. Counting his earlier fundraising, Golden had raised $345,000 through the end of 2017.

Golden is one of five Democrats vying for the party’s backing for the opportunity to serve as its standard bearer in the November general election against two-term U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a 2nd District Republican.

“I am truly humbled by the response our campaign is receiving, and it is clear the people of Maine are ready for a new generation of progressive leaders representing them in Washington,” Golden said in a prepared statement.

He said the new generation wants elected officials to serve people rather than “special interests and personal agendas.”

Also in the running for a June primary are Democrats Lucas St. Clair, Tim Rich, Jonathan Fulford and Craig Olson. None have released their fundraising tallies yet.

St. Clair said in response that “all Democrats should share one goal: Beating Congressman Poliquin.”

“Being able to raise money is part of that equation, particularly given how much Congressman Poliquin has raised from Wall Street,” he said, but the primary and the race in the fall “are about more than money, they’re about who will do the most to strengthen Maine economy and revitalize the middle class.” 

Golden, who is the state House assistant majority leader, pointed out that his campaign has raised $112,000 more in 2017 than Emily Cain raked in during a similar period in 2013 when she was preparing to try to win a vacant seat.

Poliquin defeated Cain in 2014 and 2016. For his 2018 race, Poliquin had more than $1.5 million in his campaign treasury at the end of September, far more than any of his potential rivals.

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State Rep. Jared Golden (Provided photo)

State Rep. Jared Golden (Provided photo)