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Jared Golden: Preserve Maine's way of life; invest in the future

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Sep 25, 2020
Courtesy of: Jared Golden for Congress Lewiston Democrat Jared Golden is running for a second term in Congress, representing Maine's 2nd District.

Lewiston — U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, Democrat of Lewiston, is vying to retain his seat in Congress representing Maine's 2nd District against Republican challenger Dale Crafts of Lisbon. Golden first attained national office in 2018, becoming the first congressman elected by ranked-choice voting.

Golden served with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later graduated from Bates College. He was in the Maine House of Representatives from 2014 to 2018, representing District 60, one of four districts that encompass Lewiston.

In Congress, Golden serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Small Business Committee. According to the website govtrack.us, about 70% of the bills he has sponsored have been in two areas: commerce, and public lands and natural resources.

We did a video interview with Golden Sept. 10, in which he said he is running for reelection because he got into politics to help fellow veterans and others in the district. He said he enjoys being able "to change people's lives in positive ways and to help" them.

Pandemic

Golden said the United States needs "more of a national strategy and approach" to the coronavirus pandemic to get resources to the health care system. He said he is worried some of Maine's rural hospitals could fail because of the twin pressures of financial losses and the pandemic.

He added that the nation must make "a very serious investment in testing," so that businesses can test their workers and schools can test students, teachers and staff and isolate those carrying the virus to stop its spread. In addition, the country must do more to support small businesses and the unemployed. Golden said he hoped the House and Senate would pass a new relief package by the beginning of October.

Policing

The congressman was emphatic that he did not support defunding police, saying that instead he thought law enforcement agencies should get more money to provide training on "how to anticipate and deescalate situations before they become potentially violent." He also supports anti-bias training for police.

He pointed out that the Maine Criminal Justice Academy has been a leader in some aspects of police reform, instituting anti-bias training and banning choke holds, except in cases where deadly force would be authorized.

U.S. and Maine economy

Golden said he wants to support existing businesses and also develop and adopt new technology to foster the businesses of the future. He also expressed strong support for unions and collective bargaining rights.

As a member of the Small Business Committee, he said, he is leading the effort to reauthorize the nation's Small Business Development Centers, of which there are 11 in the 2nd District. The centers offer free services to small-business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.

He has also worked with the lobstering community to protect it from what he calls "unfair" regulations aimed at protecting right whales, which he said are seldom seen in the areas where Maine lobstermen operate.

Also, as a member of House Armed Services Committee, Golden supported grants to the University of Maine for research on composite materials using wood fiber to develop a new market for the state's forest products industry.

Climate change

According to Golden, "Maine is doing an all-right job (of developing renewable energy), but there's certainly a lot more capacity that we could capture out there," to provide clean energy as well as jobs.

Among the renewable energy sources Golden would like to see Maine develop or expand are tidal power, offshore wind and solar. He noted that these resources must be developed in a way that provides dependable power for homes and businesses. It is important that the entities developing these projects work with affected constituencies, he said.

Abortion

Golden said he is pro-choice, adding, "That's a decision that needs to be made between a woman and her doctor."

Guns

On the issue of gun control, he said, "People need to step back and look at the reality of the Second Amendment. It is a constitutionally protected right, and one that needs to be respected."

Rather than banning certain types of weapons, he favors barring "people who have proven themselves to be dangerous and irresponsible" from owning any guns. He added that the existing background check system needs more funding and staffing to be as effective as possible. He would also like to see the laws already on the books enforced, such as those prohibiting someone with a clean record from buying weapons for others who could not pass a background check.

Education

Golden favors increasing federal K-12 education support to the states to ensure that all students have access to a good education while relieving the burden on property tax payers. "Getting a good education is key," he said, noting that the aspirations of America's founders assumed the need for a well-informed citizenry.

He said we need a national conversation about the costs and benefits of going to college. In addition to providing more counseling and avenues into the trades, he said, our education system should also make sure students have advisers to help them assess whether college is right for them and whether it is necessary to achieve their goals.

China

When it comes to China, "... we should be very clear that they are a rising competitor. They are a potentially dangerous competitor and a threat to the United States," Golden said. He added that we should do all we can to have a good relationship with China, but also "send a strong message" discouraging its leaders from trying to threaten us.

He said it was important to keep checking to make sure our tariffs are working as intended.

U.S. military abroad

Golden, a veteran of the Marines, said he suports "continuing to protect the people of the United States from terrorist threats, which are still very much real, alive and out there."

He said it is important to combat terrorist groups around the world, and make sure they do not have the freedom of operation that led to the 9/11 attacks. Any military mission we undertake should be clear and have a plan for the withdrawal of troops once the mission is finished. Golden also said counter-terrorism can be conducted through diplomacy. "It doesn't necessarily mean boots on the ground."

Election 2020 - Jared Golden - Candidate: U.S. Congress Maine District #2
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