Verso Paper Mill in Jay, Maine. Brian Naylor / NPR hide caption change caption Brian Naylor / NPR Verso Paper…
Brian Naylor / NPR
On a windy afternoon in Jay, Maine, Jared Golden stands at the gate of Verso Paper Mill, shaking hands with the workers at the end of their shift. The workers – mostly men wearing clothes that are still in their goggles – greet him politely before they rush to their waitings.
Golden, 36, is a slim and softly state legislature. But his appearance is astonishing. Under his flannel, shirts are some serious tattoos that he acquired during the infantry of the Navy with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Golden is the Democratic candidate for Maine 2nd Congressional District, a district President Trump won in 2016, but is now seen as a throw-up – one of many Democrats hopes to turn the election day into their efforts to gain control over the House of Representatives.
It’s not an impossible dream. The 2nd District was held by Democrats for 20 years before Republican Bruce Poliquin won it in 2014. And before Trump it had been won by Democratic presidential candidates since Bill Clinton in 1992.
NPR repeatedly reached Poliquin’s campaign for an interview but received no response.
The 64-year-old runs for his third term, as the only remaining Republican in the New England House. In a debate earlier this month, he quoted his voices for lowering taxes and cutting regulations, while accusing Golden of being in Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and others.
“There are millions and millions of dollars pouring into this race from Nancy Pelosi, the extreme radical from San Francisco or Maxine Waters. All of these dark money, says Poliquin.” And here’s the reason: Jared Golden voices in line with Nancy Pelosi. She must have looked at his voting record and said that this is just the kind we want in Washington. “
Golden has repeatedly stated that he will not vote for Pelosi for speakers, says the time for” a new generation leader. “
In the same debate, Poliquin, whom Trump approved for re-election in a tweet refused to say if he voted for Trump in 2016.” It’s my business, “said Poliquin.” I work with all, republicans and democrats as entrepreneurs, but I do not say who I vote for. “
About Golden wins and democrats take control of the house, says Golden, he does not see his role “as resistance”, but opens the door to work with the president.
“I like to say I’m a navy, no better friend, no worse enemy. If the president does anything that helps Maine, is I’m with him. If he does something that hurts in Maine, I’ll clean up for our state, he said.
Portland Press Herald / Press Herald via Getty Images
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the two major candidates and the parties and the political action committees that supported them have fallen over $ 8 million in the district. Two independents in the competition are not expected to be a factor, but may be due to a wild card.
Maine has now voted in the federal elections. University of Maine Political Professor Mark Brewer explains, “If you would go and vote today and vote, you would be able to rank the four candidates one to four. One is your best choice and four are your last choices.”  If no candidate gets a majority, the last place finisher will be eliminated.
Brewer says that if those who voted for the last place the candidate made a second choice then “these voices are then assigned to their second election candidate.”
Nobody knows for sure how this will play, which Brewer says is “fascinating to watch.” And Poliquin has refused to say if he will honor the results if he should lose.