Dec. 18, 2019: U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, becomes the only member of the U.S. House of Representatives to split his vote on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Golden votes to impeach Trump, a Republican, for abuse of power but against impeachment for obstruction of Congress. Both articles pass largely on party lines in the Democratic-controlled House.

Golden’s split vote is, in a way, an echo of split results in the general elections of 2016 and 2018. Trump, running for president, won Golden’s future congressional district in 2016, collecting a single electoral vote there under a state law that allows Maine’s Electoral College vote to be split. It was the only Electoral College vote Trump received in New England.

In the 2018 election, Golden became the first person whose election to the U.S. House was made possible by Maine’s new ranked-choice voting law. Golden finished behind Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, but the incumbent failed to win a clear majority. When the votes of third- and fourth-place finishers in the four-way race were redistributed based on voters’ second and third choices, Golden achieved a majority.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at:

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