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Bruce Poliquin won’t say that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Augusta, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Augusta, Maine.

Former Congressman Bruce Poliquin filed petition signatures Wednesday to run for his old seat this November but not before talking about inflation, his opponent – and Donald Trump.

During a press conference outside of the State House, Poliquin hit a slew of national Republican talking points as he laid out his reasons for challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Poliquin accused Democrats and President Biden of failing to secure the southern border with Mexico and blamed the party for harming Mainers by driving up inflation through what he said was out-of-control government spending. He also called for increasing domestic production of oil, which is something that Golden also supports despite strong opposition from some within the Democratic party.

Poliquin lost to Golden in 2018 after representing the 2nd District for two terms. The high-profile and expensive race made history as the first congressional contest in the country decided by ranked-choice voting. But Poliquin still claims he won that election before the final tally was taken through the ranked-choice process, which Maine voters endorsed twice at the ballot box.

“Any other state in the country, the race is over,” Poliquin said. “But because we have this rank voting, this crazy way of counting votes, nine day later after they finish counting, he was awarded the seat. But I won on Election Day.”

But when it came to President Trump's false claims of a "rigged" election in 2020, Poliquin refused to answer questions about the legitimacy of the outcome.

"So I will try once more to ask: Do you believe that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president of the United States?" Don Carrigan, a reporter for News Center Maine, pressed Poliquin for a third time.

"I believe voter integrity, Pat, is really important,” Poliquin said. “It is critically important to make sure that it’s really easy to vote but it’s really hard to cheat."

Poliquin could face at least one primary opponent, Elizabeth Caruso of Caratunk, this June. Caruso filed her petition signatures earlier this week, according to information from the Maine Secretary of State’s Office. March 15 is the deadline for congressional candidates to submit at least 1,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify for a party primary.