Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican who represented Maine's 2nd District and is running a return bid in 2022, speaks at a news conference in Augusta on Nov. 13, 2018. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s campaign said he raised $880,000 since launching in early August, a strong total as the Republican attempts a comeback in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District against Rep. Jared Golden, who defeated him in 2018.

It foretells an expensive rematch between the two candidates, whose 2018 contest set a record for the most spending in a Maine race at the time, with more than $23 million spent between the candidates and outside groups, according to OpenSecrets.

Poliquin released his fundraising numbers through Sept. 30 on Thursday, ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline for filing with the Federal Election Commission. He has not yet formally filed, so more detailed numbers of his sources of fundraising are not yet available, though his campaign said he made no personal loans or cash contributions to the campaign.

The former congressman’s fundraising already accounts for about three-quarters of what the 2020 Republican candidate in the district, former state Rep. Dale Crafts, raised during his entire campaign against Golden in what ended up being a relatively low-key race.

Golden’s campaign has not yet released third quarter numbers, but the current congressman had raised a bit over $1 million and had about $784,000 cash on hand as of June 30. He outraised Poliquin significantly when running as a challenger in 2018, accumulating more than $5.6 million compared to $3.9 million for the Republican incumbent.

The Democratic congressman is a top target for national Republicans next year in a district that former President Donald Trump won twice. Conservative outside groups have already spent more than $1 million on radio, TV and digital ads targeting the swing district that got only slightly more Democratic in recent redistricting.