BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For Republican Bruce Poliquin, the third time was the charm, as he won the hotly contested Republican primary for the Second District Congressional seat. Poliquin greeted supporters in Bangor Tuesday night, prior to declaring victory over Kevin Raye. Four years ago, Poliquin lost a primary race for Governor. Two years ago he narrowly lost the primary for U.S. Senate. But this time, he won Tuesday's Second District race by a comfortable margin. With 88% of the precincts counted, Poliquin was leading Raye 56% to 43%. He told the crowd that his message of cutting spending and not raising taxes is what the people in the district want.
It was a bruising GOP primary between Poliquin and Raye, featuring multiple attack ads on TV and radio, as well as mailings and social media. Several Republicans have said the negativity was hurting Poliquin with voters, but the final numbers did not bear that out. Now the former State Treasurer will face Democrat Emily Cain in the general election, and political observers expect it will be an intense campaign on both sides, with plenty of money flowing to candidate, parties and Political Action Committees.
Democrats have controlled the Second District seat for twenty years, but Poliquin said he believes residents of the district are ready to switch to a Republican.