Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Red enough?

Al Diamon

It’s understandable that lots of Republicans are running for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat. They figure if Bruce Poliquin could win here, anybody can.

Poliquin was twice elected as the GOP representative from the northern, central and western parts of the state. In spite of a public persona that sparked rumors scientists had gene-spliced his system with weasel DNA, he prevailed at the ballot box, because Democrats insisted on running the most uninspiring candidate they could find, Emily Cain. Both times.

In 2018, the Dems nominated the second most uninspiring candidate they could find, Jared Golden, which proved (with a little assist from ranked-choice voting) to be just enough to oust Poliquin. As noted previously, Bruce isn’t real likeable.

Golden, however, isn’t real much-of-anything. Since arriving in Washington, the Army vet and former legislative leader has assumed the form of an inoffensive schlub, hesitant to take positions on controversial issues – and sometimes, non-controversial ones – apparently for fear of offending Trump supporters, who propelled the Big Orange Booger to a 2nd District victory in the 2016 election. Golden’s reticence makes him look vulnerable, which is another reason Republicans are swarming like maggots on roadkill to take him on.

So far, the field includes a somewhat-nutty libertarian, a far-right religious zealot and a would-be Paul LePage clone with poetic aspirations.

Golden might stand a decent chance, after all.

The first GOP candidate to declare for the seat was failed U.S. Senate candidate and former legislator Eric Brakey of Auburn. Brakey likes guns, private enterprise and legal pot. He doesn’t like abortion, taxes, immigrants and government efforts to stop climate change. He thinks Maine’s biggest problem is “our abusive relationship with Washington, D.C.” Given sufficient oxygen, he’ll talk endlessly (and loopily) about how Democrats are conspiring with evil globalists to take away our freedoms and money.

Next up is Dale Crafts, a former state representative from Lisbon, who’s mostly remembered in Augusta for leading legislative prayer meetings. He hates abortion, same-sex marriage, transgendered rights, labor unions and education spending. He loves guns. Crafts is depending on a network of evangelical churches that his relative, former state Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, used in his 2018 gubernatorial bid to achieve primary victory, apparently unaware that didn’t work for Mason. An inspiring quote from Crafts: uh … I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Adrienne Bennett of Bangor served as GOP Gov. Paul LePage’s spokeswoman for most of his two terms in office, during which she became adept at walking back LePage’s absurd comments and dodging inquiries about the ridiculous ones. Before that, she was a TV reporter. After that, she worked in banking and real estate. For some odd reason, Bennett is perceived as more moderate than Brakey or Crafts, but in her press release announcing her candidacy, she emphasized her support for Trump and promised to “uphold our traditional conservative values.” She’s also a published poet, so she has a fallback occupation if she loses.

The 2nd District has a reputation for being conservative, but that’s somewhat misleading. There’s a strong independent streak in the rural parts of Maine (advantage: libertarian Brakey), but also a deep suspicion of weirdos (disadvantage: kooky Brakey). While the religious right is a significant factor in the district (advantage: Crafts), a majority of voters perceive Bible thumpers as busybodies intent on taking away their sex, drugs and violent video games (disadvantage: Crafts). And while LePage is popular in the area (advantage: Bennett and maybe Crafts), basking in the ex-governor’s aura did nothing for his former health and human services commissioner, Mary Mayhew, when she ran for governor (disadvantage: Bennett).

All three candidates have proclaimed their loyalty to Trump, but the president’s popularity among independents (the largest voting bloc in the district) has been in sharp decline of late. That could mean that come next November, it’ll be advantage: Golden.

Even worse: Poliquin might run again in 2022.

There’s no advantage in emailing me at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

15 Responses »

  1. Interesting article Al... However, when you mention independent... please don't include one of our Senators... Cuz he aint one....

  2. GOP and 2nd District despised Ranked Choice Voting will likely determine the winner

  3. Bring on Larry Lockman and make it 4 stooges.

  4. Aww Tom,,
    That was just plain mean spirited of you.
    Whatever happened to the days of Tolerant Liberals?

    You should be kinder, you stupid Liberal Fool.

  5. That Ms Bennett is the only candidate tied to former Governor LePage is telling. Surely he had some brainy and energetic cabinet officers who would like to further a career in politics?
    Is there no one on Susan Collins' staff who is interested? She was once a staffer herself and could help in her native 2nd district.
    At last check there are a few millionaires in big houses on Mount Desert Island with republican ties. Any takers?
    What about a carpetbagger? One of Romney's boys? Scott Brown? A Coolidge descendant from Vermont? After all autumn is a lovely time to move to Maine. Except winter is coming.

  6. Once again Al proves that he doesn't have a clue.

  7. Al is still euphoric from the smelling Janet Mills old socks he keeps in his desk.

    If nobody realizes, he has mentioned Lepage more this year then he has Mills.....

    Think about that for a minute... a self-identified "independent" (in the Angus King mold) can't find anything words to make fun of our current governor.

  8. There is no liberal bias by Al or any of his liberal kin.

    When "anyone who disagrees the Libs (like Trump)" says "The Sky Is Blue" (for example)...
    And the Libs completely freak out saying "How Dare You call the sky blue, therefore Marginalizing All Brown Eyed Peoples".!!! You are an unworthy racist monster who will have all rights strippef away,,, immediately ( if not sooner) !!!!

    When they react this way (every day now),
    They are not being biased,,,
    They are being Crazy.

  9. Or like Trump swearing he's never seen those Lithuanian diplomats in his life, even after being shown numerous photos of him partying with them,shaking their hands and hanging with his other mail order wife over the past 5 or 6 years. That okay??

  10. The Good Old Days
    And I'm darn proud of it, especially when you capitalize l andvf in liberal fool.

  11. @ I Dare,,
    Oh yes, that's completely "OK"..
    And thank you for this "damaging information".
    Who'da Thunk It Huh !!!

    Hey Man Pass This On,, I heard The President was dancing with a Illegal Space Alien at Mar a Lago (whatever it's called).
    Then,, he wrestled an alligator.. (he won but he used an illegal move,, so he cheated).

    What a guy....

  12. Apparently, Al doesn't follow the dems all that much. Several have said more than once that they support gun bans and confiscations, here's what that looks like, 784,000 cops, 220 million gun owners, I don't see that ending well.

    Transgender rights? What are those? The last time I read the constitution, it was gender neutral. They have every right to live however they see fit, it's a free country. People also have the freedom to not have to pretend that thousands of years of human biology is wrong and a male is a biological female simply because they claim to be one. But it is extremely unfair to biological females to have to compete against biological males. The fastest male 400m dash is 43.03, the fastest female 400m dash is 47.60. So I don't think natural born males have the right to compete against natural born females.

    What has Mills done for Maine? She signed medicaid expansion, then made 20,000 asylum seekers benefit eligible, she didn't sign the bill for elderly spending, she is a total failure.

  13. When speaking of liberals one can leave off the stupid and fool descriptions; that is implied. To confirm reread any of Al’s work.

  14. Uh,liberals. Guess I told THEM!

  15. Incivility and name calling. Sticks and stones.