State Rep. Mike Soboleski announced Thursday that he would take on Democratic Rep. Jared Golden in northern Maine's 2nd District, though his entry is not likely to be welcome news for national Republicans. That's because GOP leaders, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his allies, have consolidated behind a different freshman state representative: Austin Theriault, a former NASCAR driver who will, according to the Bangor Daily News' Michael Shepherd, launch his own campaign later this month.
Soboleski, who was elected last year in a conservative seat months after winning his primary by all of 5 votes, is an ardent Donald Trump ally—so much so, says Shepherd, that he even posted a photo of his copy of "The Art of the Deal" that Trump autographed in 1989 on his campaign website Soboleski, like Golden, is a Marine veteran; unlike the incumbent, though, Soboleski played bit parts as a cop on TV from 2002 to 2010 and worked as a stuntman on "The Departed." He also served as a first responder on Sept. 11, something he highlighted in his kickoff video.
Trump carried this rural district 52-46, but Golden, who is one of the more conservative members of the Democratic caucus, has proven to be a tough opponent for Republicans. The GOP field to take him on already includes Robert Cross, an underfunded candidate who unsuccessfully sought the nod for a state Senate seat last year, while hardline state Rep. Laurel Libby told BDN this month she hasn't decided if she'll also get in. Both the primary and general elections will be conducted using instant runoff voting.
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