LEWISTON — Democratic congressional candidate Jared Golden said Thursday he is eager to challenge the 2nd District Republican incumbent “at any time, in any place.”

But Golden is likely to get only one more chance: When the four candidates vying for U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s seat gather for a televised debate next Tuesday.

Poliquin’s campaign made clear Thursday that he will not participate in Maine Public’s Oct. 28 debate at Bangor’s Gracie Theater, an event the public is welcome to attend.

Golden’s campaign said because Poliquin will not be there, the Democrat also will not attend.

“We’re competing for the title,” said Bobby Reynolds, Golden’s communications director. “The guy who’s got the belt has got to be there.”

Mark Simpson, director of news and public affairs for Maine Public, said the debate will go on because the two independents seeking the seat plan to show up.

Portland lawyer Tiffany Bond and Southwest Harbor educator Will Hoar are hoping to pick up votes in the Nov. 6 election.

Tuesday’s debate will air on television stations WAGM in Presque Isle, WABI in Bangor and WMTW Channel 8 in Portland.

Jared Golden, left, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin