As public impeachment hearings get underway in Washington, Maine’s junior congressman is under fire from a conservative political action committee targeting a few Democrats it sees as vulnerable on the issue.

The fiscally conservative Club for Growth released a digital advertising campaign this week calling the hearings “a distraction from the real issues facing everyday Americans” and urging Mainers to phone U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, to tell him to stop efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.

Golden, who defeated incumbent Bruce Poliquin, the Republican representative for the 2nd Congressional District last year, has repeatedly said he is focused on the issues that matter most to Mainers, especially jobs and health care.

“While the investigation continues,” Golden said in a prepared statement, “I will remain committed to the work the people of my state sent me to Congress to do.”

The Club for Growth has endorsed one of Golden’s three Republican challengers, Eric Brakey of Auburn, and poured money into his campaign.

It lists Golden’s turf as “a top Republican and conservative pick-up opportunity” in next year’s congressional elections because Trump won the district by 10% in 2016.

The Club for Growth cited Golden this week as one of five freshmen lawmakers it hopes to unseat. It named four others earlier.

In the group’s advertisement, it calls the hearings a “sham impeachment” that is evidence that “socialists have driven the Democratic Party over the cliff.”

The House impeachment inquiry got underway after a whistleblower report in September raised the issue of Trump seeking to force the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into a Democratic opponent’s son.

Golden initially steered clear of the issue, but endorsed rules for the inquiry recently after seeing initial evidence that he said was worth investigating.

The other freshmen lawmakers targeted by the group, all Democrats, are Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood of Illinois, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Ben McAdams of Utah, Abigal Spanberger of Virginia, Xochitl Torres of New Mexico and California’s Katie Porter and Harley Rouda.

Brakey, a former state senator and last year’s unsuccessful GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, faces two challengers in a June primary: Adrienne Bennett of Bangor, who served as press secretary for Gov. Paul LePage, and Dale Crafts of Lisbon, a former legislator.


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