Democrat, two Independents aim for Poliquin's seat

By Stephanie Grinnell | Oct 10, 2018

Three candidates are hoping to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the state’s 2nd District on Nov. 6.

Poliquin, a Republican from Oakland, has filled the post for the past four years. His challengers are Jared Golden, a Democrat from Lewiston; Tiffany Bond, a Portland attorney who describes her political affiliation as “non-partisan” and is listed on the ballot as an Independent; and William Hoar, a teacher from Southwest Harbor running as an Independent.

Poliquin highlights a number of issues on his campaign website, including jobs and the economy, senior citizens, health care, veterans, the opioid crisis, women’s issues, the Second Amendment, welfare reform, the national debt, illegal immigration, college funding and Maine’s environment.

Regarding the ongoing opioid epidemic, which has hit the 2nd District hard in recent years, Poliquin notes a personal connection — his brother. He highlights his efforts on the problem as being a founding member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic; participating in the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus; co-sponsoring the Cradle Act, which helps care for addicted newborns; meeting with local law enforcement; supporting funding for courts, monitoring programs and task forces; visiting treatment centers; hosting meetings; and co-sponsoring the Stop Abuse Act.

“As someone whose family has been directly impacted by the death of a loved one due to substance abuse, I will not give up on this fight,” Poliquin states on his website. “We can’t give up.”

Regarding women’s issues — a topic in the spotlight with the #metoo movement — Poliquin said he’s worked to pass anti-harassment legislation, to increase funding for health care and expand maternity care for veterans. He has introduced legislation to issue quarters featuring women who have made significant contributions to America and served as the lead Republican co-sponsor of the Ruth Moore Act, introduced by Maine’s Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, who represents the 1st District. The Ruth Moore Act intends to make it easier for survivors of military sexual assault to get benefits.

Poliquin's efforts to improve education funding, according to his website, include votes to strengthen 529 college savings plans and to strengthen the solvency of the Pell Grant Program. As well, Poliquin said he introduced legislation to improve college savings incentives and was involved in efforts “to force” the Department of Education to reconsider its rejection of a University of Maine at Presque Isle grant application.

Many of Golden’s top issues mirror Poliquin’s, but the two candidates’ approaches differ. Golden states on his website it is important for Congress to hold large pharmaceutical companies accountable for misleading advertising of highly addictive drugs, the use of which sometimes leads to opiates.

He said expanding Medicaid to include mental health and substance abuse programs offers “simple solutions” to the problem but his larger goals include increasing funding for education and drug prevention, expanding drug take-back programs, addressing prescribing practices to limit opioid access, increasing access to Narcan (the brand name of opioid-reversing drugs), increasing sustainable treatment options and expanding recovery services.

As well, Golden would work with drug-dependent newborn care providers and support research into new treatments. Arresting dealers is a priority, he said, as is funding for diversion programs and drug courts to keep users out of prison. Those in prison should have expanded access to treatment, Golden said.

To benefit everyone in the state, gender-based wage discrimination must be addressed by Congress, according to Golden.

“In 2017, working women in Maine were paid approximately $10,000 less than working men — amounting to nearly $3 billion in lost wages every year,” he states on his website. “ … By ending wage discrimination, we would not only lift Maine families out of poverty, but working women in our state would have more money for health care, childcare, rent and mortgage payments, college tuition and retirement.”

Golden said he believes the United States should establish mandatory paid family leave. He also believes women should be allowed to make their own health care decisions, including family planning such as contraception.

More students should take the opportunity to serve their country in exchange for educational opportunities, according to Golden, who took that path. He suggests a “universal service program” that would ask two years of service in a variety of organizations to gain a two-year education benefit.

“I believe young people would gain from this experience, and our communities would benefit from their hard work,” Golden states.

On the flip side, early childhood education “is one of the best investments Maine can make,” according to Golden, who also advocates for higher teacher salaries.

Tiffany Bond of Portland has rejected campaign donations, instead asking potential donors to support local businesses. She said she enjoys reading bill texts and supports well-written laws.

Formerly a Republican, Bond said both political parties have good ideas as well as bad ones. She describes herself as fiscally responsible and in favor of small government, and she supports First Amendment rights and privacy.

“I’m a moderate, reasonable voice that will vote on good law that protects and balances,” Bond states on her website.

Top priorities include revamping the Affordable Care Act — which she calls “deeply flawed” — as well as thoughtful spending. Bond said she supports the Second Amendment, but said no person convicted of domestic violence should have access to weapons. Bond favors letting states decide if marijuana should be legalized.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported in June that William Hoar is running as an Independent “because he sees it as the only way to honestly represent the people of Maine,” given that “both parties have bloated into ideological behemoths who choose to spend their time battling for dominance.”

An environmentalist, Hoar called for term limits, a time limit for campaigns, greater civility in Washington, more education funding for low-income districts, cheaper health care and a simpler tax code, according to the Sun Journal.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.

Staff Profile

Stephanie Grinnell
(207) 338-3333 ext. 110
Email Me

Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.

Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.

Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.

Recent Stories by Stephanie Grinnell