Golden seeks reelection to House as Crafts tries to win Second District back for Republicans

The race for Maine’s Second Congressional District puts freshmen incumbent Democratic Rep. Jared Golden against Republican Challenger Dale Crafts.Golden won two years ago by a narrow margin in the nation’s first House race decided by ranked-choice voting. Ranked-choice voting won’t come into play for this election because there are only two candidates on the ballot, but voters still have the option to rank their ballots.Crafts, a businessman, is trying to win back the seat for Republicans in a district that supported President Donald Trump in 2016. He wants voters to see him as the small business candidate.Crafts has owned several small businesses, including a construction company and self-storage business. He calls himself a “free market guy.””I can relate to the frustrations they have with overregulation, permits, cost of permits, you know, trying to get a job done and government gets in the way,” Crafts said.The conservative-leaning National Federation of Independent Businesses supports him, as well as members of Maine’s Associated Builders and Contractors.”Dale knows what it’s like to start a small business. He knows what it’s like to take care of his employees. He knows what it’s like to meet a payroll and how hard it is with some of the regulations,” Landry & Sons co-owner Donald Dubuc said.In his challenge to Golden, Crafts has tethered himself to President Donald Trump, including his tax cuts and trade policies. Crafts argues that Golden votes too frequently with his party and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”He’s running as this independent, conservative, but the truth of the matter is Jared votes with Pelosi 89% of the time. He voted to impeach the president, who won the district by 10-plus,” Crafts said. “I’m not gonna hide from that,” Golden said in an interview over the summer where he defended his vote to impeach the president for pressuring Ukraine to open up a politically motivated investigation of Joe Biden.”Foreign influence in our democracy is unacceptable. It’s a bright red line. The president abused his power, and I voted to hold him accountable for that,” Golden said.Even with siding with Trump’s position only 11% of the time, Golden ranks in the top five House Democrats who work with the administration.On health care, Golden, differs from the Trump administration. He was one of 118 House co-sponsors of Medicare for All in 2019, generally understood to now mean replacing private insurance with a government as a single-payer system. Today, Golden said that is not what he wants.”Medicare for All was not a specific bill with a series of different provisions. Now that it is, I don’t like that provision that would ban private insurance,” Golden said.He supports the option to buy into Medicare earlier than the current eligibility age of 65.On trade, Golden opposed Trump’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”Most of these trade deals completely make a mockery and undermine Buy American laws that we passed in Congress to try and incentivize purchasing by the American government of American-made produce and products,” Golden said.Golden served as a Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq and calls himself a consistent supporter of law enforcement.”Calls for defunding the police are completely wrong and moving us in the wrong direction,” Golden said.His election, along with other national security Democrats in 2018, helped give the party its House majority.”I understand what this job is about – it’s about service. It’s not about me.” Golden said. “You don’t just represent the people who agree with you on everything, or the Democrats, or the Republicans. You represent everyone.”While recent polls of likely Second District voters have favored Golden, Crafts said not to believe them.“From what I’ve seen around the District, the enthusiasm for Trump, that voter that’s not getting polled, the voter that’s gonna turn out. Hang on, because I think we’re going to see a lot different than the polls are showing,” Crafts said.

The race for Maine’s Second Congressional District puts freshmen incumbent Democratic Rep. Jared Golden against Republican Challenger Dale Crafts.

Golden won two years ago by a narrow margin in the nation’s first House race decided by ranked-choice voting.

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Ranked-choice voting won’t come into play for this election because there are only two candidates on the ballot, but voters still have the option to rank their ballots.

Crafts, a businessman, is trying to win back the seat for Republicans in a district that supported President Donald Trump in 2016. He wants voters to see him as the small business candidate.

Crafts has owned several small businesses, including a construction company and self-storage business. He calls himself a “free market guy.”

“I can relate to the frustrations they have with overregulation, permits, cost of permits, you know, trying to get a job done and government gets in the way,” Crafts said.

The conservative-leaning National Federation of Independent Businesses supports him, as well as members of Maine’s Associated Builders and Contractors.

“Dale knows what it’s like to start a small business. He knows what it’s like to take care of his employees. He knows what it’s like to meet a payroll and how hard it is with some of the regulations,” Landry & Sons co-owner Donald Dubuc said.

In his challenge to Golden, Crafts has tethered himself to President Donald Trump, including his tax cuts and trade policies. Crafts argues that Golden votes too frequently with his party and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“He’s running as this independent, conservative, but the truth of the matter is Jared votes with Pelosi 89% of the time. He voted to impeach the president, who won the district by 10-plus,” Crafts said.

“I’m not gonna hide from that,” Golden said in an interview over the summer where he defended his vote to impeach the president for pressuring Ukraine to open up a politically motivated investigation of Joe Biden.

“Foreign influence in our democracy is unacceptable. It’s a bright red line. The president abused his power, and I voted to hold him accountable for that,” Golden said.

Even with siding with Trump’s position only 11% of the time, Golden ranks in the top five House Democrats who work with the administration.

On health care, Golden, differs from the Trump administration. He was one of 118 House co-sponsors of Medicare for All in 2019, generally understood to now mean replacing private insurance with a government as a single-payer system. Today, Golden said that is not what he wants.

“Medicare for All was not a specific bill with a series of different provisions. Now that it is, I don’t like that provision that would ban private insurance,” Golden said.

He supports the option to buy into Medicare earlier than the current eligibility age of 65.

On trade, Golden opposed Trump’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“Most of these trade deals completely make a mockery and undermine Buy American laws that we passed in Congress to try and incentivize purchasing by the American government of American-made produce and products,” Golden said.

Golden served as a Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq and calls himself a consistent supporter of law enforcement.

“Calls for defunding the police are completely wrong and moving us in the wrong direction,” Golden said.

His election, along with other national security Democrats in 2018, helped give the party its House majority.

“I understand what this job is about – it’s about service. It’s not about me.” Golden said. “You don’t just represent the people who agree with you on everything, or the Democrats, or the Republicans. You represent everyone.”

While recent polls of likely Second District voters have favored Golden, Crafts said not to believe them.

“From what I’ve seen around the District, the enthusiasm for Trump, that voter that’s not getting polled, the voter that’s gonna turn out. Hang on, because I think we’re going to see a lot different than the polls are showing,” Crafts said.