President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to express his “full endorsement” of Maine’s 2nd District Republican congressman Bruce Poliquin.

In a late-afternoon statement on the social media site, the president called Poliquin “a great congressman.”

“He is in a tough fight against a very liberal Nancy Pelosi Democrat,” Trump said, referring to Lewiston state Rep. Jared Golden, the Democratic contender.

Poliquin said in response, “I appreciate the support of the president and voters of all parties who back my efforts to create jobs and grow the economy of rural Maine.”

Golden said he “won’t hold this endorsement against Donald Trump when I’m in Congress.”

“I’m ready to work with the president when it’s good for the people of Maine,” Golden said. “When it’s not, I’m ready to stand up to him.”

None of the three other candidates in the race — Golden and independents Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar — have yet commented on Trump’s endorsement.

Polls show Poliquin, an Oakland resident and former Wall Street executive first elected in 2014, is locked in a close race with Golden, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with two combat tours. It is generally rated a toss-up by political insiders.

Poliquin has maintained a distance from Trump. He refused to back Trump in 2016’s presidential race and as recently as last week declined to say whether he had voted for Trump.

But he has backed the president’s agenda in the U.S. House on many votes, including a controversial 2017 measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Golden has repeatedly said he is not a supporter of Pelosi, the California Democrat who serves as her party’s leader in the House. He said he would not back her efforts to become speaker if the Democrats win control of the House in the Nov. 6 election.

Trump won Maine’s 2nd District in 2016, collecting his only electoral vote in New England as a result.

Recent polls show Trump is more popular in the sprawling district than Poliquin.

Golden said months ago that he anticipated Trump would eventually endorse his Republican foe. He said he would not be surprised if the president came to Maine for a rally as well, though there is no evidence one is in the works.

Golden said at the time that he planned to continue to make his case with the voters, insisting that Trump is not the issue in Maine.

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President Donald Trump’s tweet in support of U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin Thursday.


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