Former state Senate candidate enters 2018 race for 2nd District

MONROE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A small business owner in Monroe announced his candidacy for Maine's 2nd Congressional District seat Wednesday.

Jonathan Fulford, a Democrat, ran twice for Maine State Senate District 11 against incumbent Senate President Mike Thibodeau and lost both times by less than 3.5 percent, or about 800 votes.

"I am running for Congress because it is time for an economy that works for everyone," Fulford said in a statement. "For too long we have provided tax cuts to the rich and to big business believing it would deliver the jobs, healthcare, and energy we need for a better life. That method dismantled the middle class and now Maine families increasingly struggle to make ends meet."

According to his LinkedIn profile, Fulford is listed as president of Monroe-based construction company Artisan Builders and co-owner of Neptune Maritime LLC.

Fulford's at least the third Democrat to say they've joined the race — Bar Harbor restaurant owner Tim Rich announced his candidacy about two weeks ago, and so has progressive Phil Cleaves of Dexter. The winner of the Democratic primary is likely to take on incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who first won the office in 2014.

Fulford lists the following as necessities for his campaign: "jobs that support our way of life;" "healthcare;" and "affordable clean energy."

Maine's 2nd District, which represents nearly 80 percent of the state's total land area, was considered a battleground race in 2016 with more than $6.8 million spent between Rep. Poliquin and Democrat Emily Cain.

The district's upcoming 2018 race as of mid-July was rated either "likely" or "leaning" Republican in analyses from three major nonpartisan newsletters, but the Democratic Party appears to be aware of the forecast and making efforts to counter — it's listed as one of 57 races targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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