Bruce Poliquin accepts defeat, urges Mainers to 'relax, decompress'

Nov. 17—Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin issued a statement Thursday accepting defeat in this month's 2nd Congressional District election and urging Democrats to find ways to help people keep warm this winter.

"Although the results didn't go our way," the Republican from Orrington said, "I am proud of the effort we put forward.

"As the holidays approach, I hope everyone has a time to relax, decompress and unplug from all the ads that flooded your televisions over the last year," Poliquin added.

Poliquin placed second in a three-way contest that saw U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, win a third term in the sprawling, rural district. Golden initially won office by ousting Poliquin in 2018.

More than $25 million was spent on the race that included more than 25,000 television commercials touting or trashing Golden or Poliquin, whose matchup was considered one of the key contests for control of the U.S. House.

State election officials finished counting the ranked-choice ballots late Wednesday to determine that Golden came out ahead of Poliquin and independent Tiffany Bond of Portland.

Poliquin extended his "best wishes" to Golden and his family.

"I also wish all Maine families a wonderful Thanksgiving and blessed holiday season," Poliquin said. "Christmas is a magical time of love and goodwill toward all."

Poliquin, a retired financial investment expert, expressed thanks "to all the folks of Maine."

"We ran a strong campaign and put thousands of miles on my Jeep traveling across the district to hear concerns with as many Mainers we could," he said.

Poliquin also urged Golden, President Joe Biden and the Democrats who control Capitol Hill until January to "reverse course during the next six weeks while they still control everything in Washington."

"They should work with Republicans to make sure we allow increased supplies of heating oil to lower the cost so our seniors can afford to stay warm this winter," Poliquin said. "It is critically important we take care of people here in Maine with the rough winter ahead."

Poliquin concluded his statement, "Thank you again to everyone, and running to represent you was a privilege."