Most everything about the congressional race in Maine’s 2nd District is likely to be close so it should be no surprise that at the end of June, the two major party candidates each had more than $2.3 million in cash in their campaign coffers.

Tiffany Bond, left, Jared Golden and Bruce Poliquin Submitted photos

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a second-term Lewiston Democrat, and challenger Bruce Poliquin of Orrington, a Republican, issued statements Thursday citing similar cash-on-hand reports they intend to file with the Federal Election Commission this week.

The other contender in the race, independent Tiffany Bond of Portland, plans to raise and spend a tiny fraction of those totals for her social media-oriented campaign. She said Thursday that she hasn’t hit the reporting threshold yet but has spent $1,141.15 so far.

Political experts cite Golden’s effort to hang onto his seat in a GOP-leaning district as among the toughest challenges Democrats face in their bid to maintain control of the U.S. House after the Nov. 8 general election.

Golden won the seat in 2018 by knocking Poliquin out of office in the nation’s first federal ranked-choice election. Bond was also on the ballot that year.

Golden’s camp said he raised $975,000 in the second quarter of 2022, between April and June, while Poliquin pulled in about $600,000 during the same period.

Golden and Poliquin’s treasuries are roughly even despite Golden’s lead in rounding up campaign cash because he is spending it faster than Poliquin, who remained tightfisted through a rougher-than-expected primary last month against Liz Caruso of Caratunk.

The last time Poliquin, Golden and Bond appeared on the ballot, more than $20 million poured into the district, creating a nearly nonstop parade of vicious television commercials that focused mostly on trashing one candidate or another.

“The gentlemen in this race have prioritized setting on fire $4.6 million on nasty ads that don’t benefit Mainers instead of having their supporters invest in Maine,” Bond said. “How many favors are they on the hook for with that unwise choice?”

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