AUGUSTA, Maine — U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin sold his Oakland home in January, which could revive residency as a campaign issue in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, even though an adviser says the congressman is still renting an apartment there.
Poliquin, a Republican, lived in an oceanside home in Georgetown valued at $3.4 million by the town, which is in the 1st District, before his first run for Congress in 2014. The Waterville native moved to a family home in Oakland along Messalonskee Lake in 2013.
His residence in the district was a major issue in the 2014 primary for the 2nd District seat against former Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, but he overcame it, and it was talked about less and less in his 2014 and 2016 general election campaigns against Democrat Emily Cain.
Last year, the Morning Sentinel reported Poliquin’s home was on the market and a spokesman responded by saying he was looking to downsize and find another area home in the area. He sold it in early January to a Winslow couple, according to the deed.
On Monday, Poliquin adviser Brent Littlefield said the congressman negotiated a rental agreement with the home’s new owners that allows him to keep using an apartment on the property. He registered for the ballot from his campaign’s post office box.
It may be an issue again as four Democrats vie to replace him in 2018 in a wide-open primary. Conservationist Lucas St. Clair, Assistant House Majority Leader Jared Golden, builder Jonathan Fulford and bookseller Craig Olson are on the ballot. All are looking to distinguish themselves, though St. Clair moved from Portland to Hampden after declaring for the race.
It will be a nationally targeted race for the third straight cycle, with Democrats leading generic congressional polls by wide margins now. But the 2nd District has taken a conservative turn since Poliquin first won it in 2014, and any Democrat will likely have a hard time beating him.
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