This year’s election in Maine’s closely split 2nd Congressional District is beginning to look a lot like the one four years ago.

Tiffany Bond Submitted

Though Republican primary voters could upend the party establishment’s plans, it currently appears that former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin is likely to emerge as their candidate to take on two-term U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat who narrowly defeated Poliquin in 2018 to take the seat.And now, another candidate from that race is back in the picture for a possible 2022 remake of the 2018 election.

Tiffany Bond, a family attorney who lives in Portland, said recently that she is going to run again against Poliquin and Golden as an independent, as she did four years ago when she got 6% of the overall vote in the nation’s first ranked-choice election for Congress.

This time around, she said, she does not intend to change her unconventional approach to politics, but will accept campaign contributions. Last time, Bond refused to take anyone’s money.

The only sure change looming from the 2018 lineup is that the fourth candidate in the race this time won’t be independent Will Hoar of Southwest Harbor, who collected less than 2% of the vote that year.

Instead, the other independent this year is Jordan Borrowman of Lewiston, a pro-Trump conservative who portrays himself as one of “a fierce group of patriots” who are determined “to save our country.”

Bond, 45, is also determined to defend the country, but sees the solution as toning down rhetoric, putting partisanship on the shelf and focusing on the bread-and-butter issues that elected leaders once leaned on before politics went skidding off the road.

“Nobody in our government seems to think their job is making laws,” Bond said. “I don’t really care about left and right. I’m on team democracy.”

Bond said that as a divorce attorney, she is well-practiced in dealing with people “who cannot stand each other” but who must come together anyway and reach a deal.

“It’s what I do,” she said.

Bond said that if she wins, she would caucus with whichever party is in the majority so that she will be in the room with the decision-makers, trying to influence their decisions.

Bond has little use for Poliquin or Golden, whom she said “invents reasons to not vote for things and to channel his inner Susan Collins” to keep public focus on himself.

She said Mainers shouldn’t have to spend the next 11 months watching warring television ads for and against Golden and Poliquin. She said voters deserve more than the silly memes that dominate what’s become a “TikTok world.”

People “want real things again” from their leaders, who should be grounded in reality and focused on helping ordinary citizens get by, she said.

“I’m tired of living in a satire,” Bond said. “I hope we’re ready for boring, competent people.”

She said she is fiscally prudent but also convinced that a steady, reasonable government has the capacity to do things that can improve the lives of hard-pressed, rural Mainers.

“We could use a little ‘Mom’ in government,” Bond said.

It’s quite a contrast to Borrowman, the other independent in the race.

He voiced the complaint on social media over the weekend that the GOP “will allow the left to control EVERYTHING AND DO WHAT THEY WANT!!! We need strong individuals to take the fight to these two groups of people who do not stand up or stand for what’s right!”

On New Year’s Eve, Borrowman posted on Twitter that “former vice president biden is not in charge of a damn thing let alone our country” and stated that President Joe Biden’s administration is to push “a plandemic,” a confused and false package of conspiracy theories that COVID-19, which has killed more than 800,000 Americans, is merely a money-making cover scheme that threatens democracy.

Poliquin, 68, who purchased a home in Orrington in October, is facing a primary challenge from several Republicans who hope the party’s rank-and-file want a new face to take on Golden instead of Poliquin, who holds a big lead in fundraising and has been championed by GOP strategists in Washington.

In the running for the June 14 primary are Liz Caruso of Caratunk, one of the leaders of the successful ballot question that took aim at a proposed hydropower line through western Maine; banker Garrett Swazey of Bangor; and U.S. Army veteran Sean Joyce of Newburgh.

Bond, an Oregon native, is married and has two sons. Though they have lived in Portland for a decade, the family bought land beside the Sandy River near the Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort. They are building a home there where they plan to move.

To make the ballot as an independent, Bond and Borrowman need to collect 2,000 signatures by June 1, something Bond did successfully in 2018.

Her bid to run for U.S. Senate in 2020, however, fell short when Bond could not gather enough signatures during the pandemic lockdown to make the ballot. She sued to seek more lenient terms, but dropped the case.

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