The three candidates in an unsettled Republican primary in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District met today for their second and final televised debate ahead of the Tuesday primary to be decided by ranked-choice voting.

Former state Rep. Dale Crafts, former state Sen. Eric Brakey and Adrienne Bennett, who was the spokeswoman for former Gov. Paul LePage, are running for the nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a freshman Democrat. They taped a debate with Maine Public on Thursday that aired at 8 p.m. this evening.

Crafts led in the only public poll of the race released Wednesday with 37 percent of votes in the ranked-choice race to Bennett’s 25 percent and Brakey’s 19 percent. But the race is still uncertain, with 79 percent of Republicans waiting to vote on Election Day and 19 percent undecided. If no candidate reaches 50 percent, there will be a ranked-choice runoff.

Their campaign has largely been about establishing respective allegiances to President Donald Trump, who carried the district in the 2016 election. It has gotten increasingly nasty of late, with one outside group popping up in late June to advertise against Brakey while taking advantage of a campaign finance loophole allowing it to not disclose donors until after Election Day.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...