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Jared Golden

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Jared Golden
Golden in 2020
Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byEd Case
Stephanie Murphy
Tom O'Halleran
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byBruce Poliquin
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
from the 60th district
In office
December 3, 2014 – December 5, 2018
Preceded byNate Libby
Succeeded byKristen Cloutier
Personal details
Jared Forrest Golden

(1982-07-25) July 25, 1982 (age 41)
Lewiston, Maine, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Isobel Moiles
(m. 2015)
EducationBates College (BA)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service2002–2006
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
War in Iraq

Jared Forrest Golden (born July 25, 1982) is an American politician and a Marine Corps veteran serving as the U.S. representative for Maine's 2nd congressional district since 2019.

A member of the Democratic Party, his district, the largest east of the Mississippi River by area, covers the northern four-fifths of the state, including Lewiston, Bangor, and Auburn. Golden, along with Angus King and Chellie Pingree, are the first members of Congress to be elected by ranked-choice voting. Golden is the only member of Congress elected after finishing second in the first round of tabulation.[1][2] He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a United States Marine.

Early life and education[edit]

Golden was born in Lewiston and raised in Leeds.[3] He attended Leavitt Area High School. Golden enrolled as a student at the University of Maine at Farmington but left after one year to join the United States Marine Corps in 2002. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.[4][5]

After returning home to Maine, Golden attended Bates College, graduating with a degree in history and politics.[6] He went on to work for an international logistics firm and then for Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.[7][5]

Maine House of Representatives[edit]

Golden returned to Maine in 2013 to work for the House Democratic Office in the Maine Legislature. As a Democrat, Golden ran for and was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2014, representing part of the city of Lewiston. He was reelected in 2016. In the subsequent legislative session, Golden became Assistant House Majority Leader.[4] Golden chaired the Elections Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Joint Rules.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



On August 24, 2017, Golden announced his candidacy against Bruce Poliquin to serve in the United States House of Representatives for Maine's 2nd congressional district.[4] On June 20, 2018, he was declared the winner of the Democratic primary, defeating environmentalist Lucas St. Clair and bookstore owner Craig Olson.[9]

On election night, Golden trailed Poliquin by 2,000 votes. As neither candidate won a majority, Maine's newly implemented ranked-choice voting system called for the votes of independents Tiffany Bond and William Hoar to be redistributed to Poliquin or Golden in accordance with their voters' second choice. The independents' supporters ranked Golden as their second choice by an overwhelming margin, allowing him to defeat Poliquin by 3,000 votes after the final tabulation.[10] He is the first challenger to unseat an incumbent in the district since 1916.[11]

Poliquin opposed the use of ranked-choice voting in the election and claimed to be the winner due to his first-round lead. He filed a lawsuit in federal court to have ranked-choice voting declared unconstitutional and to have himself declared the winner. Judge Lance E. Walker rejected all of Poliquin's arguments and upheld the certified results.[12] Poliquin appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and requested an order to prevent Golden from being certified as the winner, but the request was rejected.[13] On December 24, Poliquin dropped his lawsuit, allowing Golden to take the seat.[14]


Golden ran for reelection in 2020 and won the Democratic primary unopposed. His Republican opponent was Dale Crafts, a former Maine Representative. Most political pundits expected Golden to win the general election easily; polling showed him ahead of Crafts by an average of about 19%, Sabato's Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report both rating the contest as "Likely Democratic", and analysis website FiveThirtyEight predicted that Golden had a 96 out of 100 chance of winning, with Golden garnering nearly 57% of the vote in their projection of the most likely scenario.[15][16][17][18]

In November, Golden defeated Crafts 53%–47%, a closer margin than expected.[19] President Donald Trump carried the district in that same election.[20]


Golden ran for reelection in 2022 and won the Democratic primary unopposed.[21] He faced former Republican congressman Bruce Poliquin, whom he narrowly beat in 2018, and independent Tiffany Bond, who also ran for the 2nd congressional district seat in 2018. In July, Golden was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Maine's largest police union, which "split the ticket" by also endorsing former Republican governor Paul LePage.[22] Polls again showed Golden with a lead,[23] but many organizations rated the seat as a "tossup", as incumbent President Joe Biden was unpopular and inflation was approaching 40-year highs; Decision Desk HQ even gave the seat a "Leans Republican" rating.[24] Nonetheless, Golden led the field in the first round, and defeated Poliquin 53%–47% after Bond's second-choice votes mostly flowed to him.[25]


Golden (left) with Governor Janet Mills and the Maine congressional delegation.
Golden (second to right) tours a commercial timber site with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.

Golden was sworn in on January 3, 2019. During the election for Speaker of the House, he voted against Democratic Caucus nominee Nancy Pelosi, as he had pledged to do during his campaign, instead voting for Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois.[26] On December 18, 2019, Golden voted for Article I of the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump but was one of three Democrats to vote against Article II.[27]

On February 6, 2020, Golden endorsed Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado for president during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[28]

As of August 2022, Golden had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 85.7% of the time, the lowest rate of any member of the Democratic caucus.[29]

Golden represents the second-most rural district in the United States, with 72% of its population in rural areas, and it has the second highest proportion of non-Hispanic White residents (94%); only Kentucky's 5th congressional district exceeds it in the two categories.[30] Furthermore, Golden's district was carried by Donald Trump in 2020, being the only district in New England to do so.

Build Back Better Act[edit]

Golden was the lone House Democrat to vote against the Build Back Better Act, citing concerns about the elimination of the $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction and the lack of prescription drug pricing reform.[31] He later joined all other Democrats in voting for the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an amended version of the original bill.[32]

COVID-19 policy[edit]

On January 31, 2023, Golden was among seven Democrats to vote for H.R.497:Freedom for Health Care Workers Act, a bill that would lift COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.[33][34]

On February 1, 2023, Golden was among 12 Democrats to vote for a resolution to end the COVID-19 national emergency.[35][36]

Criminal justice reform[edit]

Golden was one of two Democrats to vote against the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.[37] In a statement after the vote, Golden said the bill "includes many good provisions that would bring about positive change", mentioning the establishment of a national registry for police misconduct, increased data collection, encouragement of deescalation tactics, and banning chokeholds unless deadly force is authorized. But he expressed concern about the provision that would restrict qualified immunity and lamented that there had "been no negotiations since the legislation's first passage, and the bill before us retains those same problematic changes".[38]


On May 24, 2023, Golden was one of only two House Democrats, along with Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington, to vote with Republicans to overturn President Biden's student loan debt cancellation plan.[39]

Foreign policy[edit]

During the Russo-Ukrainian War, Golden organized a letter, signed by himself and other members of Congress, advocating for President Biden to give F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.[40]

Golden rejected calls for a ceasefire in the 2023 Israel–Hamas war.[41] He voted in favor of a bill that would provide an additional $14.3 billion to support Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.[42]


Golden was the only Democrat to vote against the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to expand background checks on gun purchases and one of two House Democrats, along with Ron Kind of Wisconsin, to vote against the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, designed to close the so-called Charleston loophole. Both bills passed the House in March 2021.[43]

In 2022, Golden was one of two Democrats, the other being lame duck Kurt Schrader of Oregon, to vote against raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.[44]

On July 29, 2022, Golden and four other Democrats joined Republicans, aside from two who declined to run again for reelection, in voting against a bill banning assault weapons.[45]

However, following the 2023 Lewiston shootings in his hometown that killed more than 20 people, Golden reversed his position on October 26, 2023, apologizing and calling for Congress to ban assault weapons.[46]

Following the 2023 Lewiston shootings and his reversal on an assault weapons ban, Golden said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, "I really believe that any law-abiding and competent citizen should have fairly easy access to firearms."[47] But, he said he began asking himself difficult questions in the wake of the shooting. "Am I going to start carrying an AR-15 slung over my shoulder when I go to the grocery store, when I go to a restaurant?" he said, noting that the odds of being in the right place to stop an active shooter were slim. "And what responsibilities do I have as a leader of the community?" he said.


On May 8, 2024, Golden voted against the "Equal Representation Act." This proposed law would have required that when counting the population of each state to determine the number of U.S. Representatives, noncitizens who are ineligible to vote would be excluded from the count.[48]

LGBT rights[edit]

On December 8, 2022, Golden voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and federally protect same-sex and interracial marriages.[49]

On July 14, 2023, Golden was one of four Democrats who voted with the majority of House Republicans to pass the annual defense policy bill, which included provisions prohibiting Pentagon spending on abortion and transgender surgeries.[50]

Marijuana policy[edit]

Golden has an "A" rating from NORML for his voting record on cannabis-related matters.[51]


Golden was one of 38 Democrats to vote against the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement Implementation Act.[52] Explaining his vote, he said the law's labeling requirements would not be enough to keep international companies from misbranding products, putting Maine's businesses at a disadvantage. He said he was skeptical it would be enforced sufficiently to protect workers, saying "we have a bad track record" in doing so with other trade deals.[53]

Committee assignments[edit]

In the 118th Congress:[54]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Maine's 2nd congressional district, 2018 Democratic primary elections results[58]
Party Candidate Round 1 Round 3
Votes % Transfer Votes % (gross) % (net)
Democratic Jared Golden 20,987 46.4% +2,624 23,611 52.2% 54.3%
Democratic Lucas St. Clair 17,742 39.2% +2,111 19,853 43.9% 45.7%
Democratic Craig Olson 3,993 8.8% -3,993 Eliminated
Democratic Jonathan Fulford 2,489 5.5% -2,489 Eliminated
Total active votes 45,211 100% 43,464 100.0%
Exhausted ballots - +1,747 1,747 3.9%
Total votes 45,211 100% 45,211 100.0%

% (gross) = percent of all valid votes cast (without eliminating the exhausted votes)
% (net) = percent of votes cast after eliminating the exhausted votes

Maine's 2nd congressional district, 2018 general elections[59]
Party Candidate Round 1 Round 3
Votes % Transfer Votes % (gross) % (net)
Democratic Jared Golden 132,013 45.6% + 10,427 142,440 49.18% 50.62%
Republican Bruce Poliquin (incumbent) 134,184 46.3% + 4,747 138,931 47.97% 49.38%
Independent Tiffany Bond 16,552 5.7% - 16,552 Eliminated
Independent Will Hoar 6,875 2.4% - 6,875 Eliminated
Total active votes 289,624 100%
281,371 100%
Exhausted ballots - +8,253 8,253 2.85%
Total votes 289,624 100%
289,624 100%

% (gross) = percent of all valid votes cast (without eliminating the exhausted votes)
% (net) = percent of votes cast after eliminating the exhausted votes

Maine's 2nd congressional district, 2020[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jared Golden (incumbent) 197,974 53.0
Republican Dale Crafts 175,228 46.9
Write-in 33 0.0
Total votes 373,235 100.0
Democratic hold
Maine's 2nd congressional district, 2022 results[61]
Party Candidate Round 1 Round 2
Votes % Transfer Votes % (gross) % (net)
Democratic Jared Golden
153,074 48.38% + 12,062 165,136 52.20% 53.05%
Republican Bruce Poliquin 141,260 44.65% + 4,882 146,142 46.19% 46.95%
Independent Tiffany Bond 21,655 6.84% - 21,655 Eliminated
Write-in 393 0.12% - 393 Eliminated
Total active votes 316,382 100%
311,278 100%
Exhausted ballots - + 5,104 5,104 1.61%
Total votes 316,382 100%
316,382 100%
Democratic hold

% (gross) = percent of all valid votes cast (without eliminating the exhausted votes)
% (net) = percent of votes cast after eliminating the exhausted votes

Personal life[edit]

Golden's wife Isobel (née Moiles) served as a city councilor in Lewiston from 2016 to 2018.[62][63] They have two daughters.[64] Golden has at least five tattoos from his time serving in the U.S. military, including a Celtic Sun Cross tattoo on his forearm and a "devil dog".[65][66]


  1. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (November 16, 2018). "Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Bradner, Eric (November 15, 2018). "Democrats flip another House seat after ranked-choice runoff in Maine | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  3. ^ Collins, Steve (September 9, 2018). "Jared Golden: From combat to candidate for Congress". Sun Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Thistle, Scott (August 24, 2017). "Jared Golden, a leading Democrat in Maine House, announces run for U.S. Congress". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Collins, Steve (September 9, 2018). "Jared Golden: From combat to candidate for Congress". Sun Journal. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Shepherd, Michael (August 24, 2017). "Poliquin may have to beat a Marine veteran to keep his seat". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "Jared Golden calls himself a veteran who still wants to serve". Sun Journal. August 23, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "Member Profile - Historical View". The Maine House of Representatives. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  9. ^ Collins, Steve (June 20, 2018). "Democrat Jared Golden declared winner of congressional primary". Sun Journal. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Jared Golden declared winner of first ranked-choice congressional election, but challenge looms". Portland Press Herald. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Taylor, Kate; Stack, Liam (November 15, 2018). "Maine's Bruce Poliquin, Lone Republican in House From New England, Loses Re-election". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Collins, Steve (December 13, 2018). "Federal court rules against Bruce Poliquin's challenge of ranked-choice voting". Sun Journal. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Mistler, Steve. "Poliquin's Request To Block Certification Of 2nd District Election". Maine Public. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  14. ^ Murphy, Edward (December 24, 2018). "Poliquin drops challenge to ranked-choice voting, clearing way for Golden to take seat in Congress". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  15. ^ "Maine's Second District - Crafts vs. Golden". RealClearPolitics. November 3, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  16. ^ "2020 House race ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. November 2, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "2020 House race ratings". The Cook Political Report. November 2, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  18. ^ "Golden is clearly favored to win Maine's 2nd District". FiveThirtyEight. November 3, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  19. ^ "Maine Election Results: Second Congressional District". The New York Times. February 11, 2021.
  20. ^ "Trump holds electoral vote in northern Maine". Politico. January 6, 2021.
  21. ^ "Maine Second Congressional District Primary Election Results". The New York Times. June 15, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  22. ^ "Maine police group's endorsement of Golden could undercut key GOP attack". Maine Public. July 25, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  23. ^ St Pierre, Ariana (October 21, 2022). "New poll gives insight into key political races in Maine". WPFO. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  24. ^ "DDHQ 2022 Election Forecast". forecast.decisiondeskhq.com. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  25. ^ Collins, Steve (November 17, 2022). "Completed count shows Rep. Jared Golden won big in Maine's 2nd Congressional District". Press Herald. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  26. ^ "Maine's new Rep. Golden votes against Pelosi for House speaker". Portland Press Herald. Associated Press. January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  27. ^ Foran, Clare; Byrd, Haley (December 18, 2019). "Democrat to split his vote on impeachment articles". CNN. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  28. ^ Cadelago, Christopher; Mutnick, Ally (February 6, 2020). "Michael Bennet's first House endorsement is from Trump Country". Politico. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  29. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  30. ^ "Congressional Districts – 113th Congress Demographics – Urban Rural Patterns". proximityone.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  31. ^ Choi, Joseph (November 19, 2021). "Jared Golden sole Democrat to vote against Build Back Better Act". The Hill.
  32. ^ "Roll Call 420, Bill Number: H. R. 5376, 117th Congress, 2nd Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. August 12, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  33. ^ "Seven Democrats join Republicans in vote to lift vaccine mandate for healthcare workers". January 31, 2023.
  34. ^ "On Passage - H.R.497: To eliminate the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on". August 12, 2015.
  35. ^ "House passes resolution to end COVID-19 national emergency". February 2023.
  36. ^ "On Passage - H.J.RES.7: Relating to a national emergency declared by". August 12, 2015.
  37. ^ "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 -- Mar 3, 2021". Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. March 3, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  38. ^ "Maine Rep. Jared Golden votes against House police reform bill". News Center Maine. March 4, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  39. ^ Binkley, Collin (May 24, 2023). "House GOP passes resolution overturning student loan cancellation; Biden vows veto". Associated Press. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  40. ^ O'Brien, Connor (February 17, 2023). "Democrats, Republicans join up to urge Biden to send F-16s to Ukraine". Politico. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  41. ^ "Portland City Council unanimously backs resolution calling for ceasefire in Gaza". Maine Morning Star. January 4, 2024.
  42. ^ "Activists arrested at Rep. Golden's Bangor office amid increased calls for ceasefire in Gaza". Maine Morning Star. November 9, 2023.
  43. ^ Conradis, Brandon (March 11, 2021). "The eight Republicans who voted to tighten background checks on guns". The Hill. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  44. ^ "House passes slate of bills to restrict access to guns and ammunition; it faces long odds in Senate". NBC News. June 8, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  45. ^ Lee, Ella (July 30, 2022). "Who are the 7 House members who broke with their party in voting on assault weapons ban?". USA Today. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  46. ^ Robertson, Nick (October 26, 2023). "Maine Democrat calls for assault weapons ban after past opposition". The Hill. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  47. ^ Kesling, Ben (November 10, 2023). "Maine Lawmaker Looked at His AR-15 Differently After Lewiston Massacre". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  48. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (May 8, 2024). "Roll Call 193 Roll Call 193, Bill Number: H. R. 7109, 118th Congress, 2nd Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 1, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  49. ^ Dormido, Hannah; Blanco, Adrian; Perry, Kati (December 8, 2022). "Here's which House members voted for or against the Respect for Marriage Act". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2023.
  50. ^ Richards, Zoë; Kaplan, Rebecca; Shabad, Rebecca (July 14, 2023). "House passes defense bill after GOP adopts abortion and transgender surgery amendments". NBC News. Retrieved July 16, 2023.
  51. ^ "Jared Golden (D - ME)". Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  52. ^ "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act -- Dec 19, 2019". Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. December 19, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  53. ^ "Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree will vote against revised NAFTA trade pact". WGME. December 19, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  54. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". Representative Jared Golden. December 13, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  55. ^ "Members". Blue Dog Coalition. Archived from the original on June 30, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  56. ^ "For Country Caucus Announces Chairs, Members for 117th Congress". Representative Jared Golden. February 25, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  57. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  58. ^ "Tabulations for Elections held in 2018". www.maine.gov. Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions, Elections and Voting, Tabulations. June 12, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  59. ^ "Results Certified to the Governor 11/26/18". www.maine.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  60. ^ "November 3, 2020 General Election". Maine Department of Secretary of State. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  61. ^ MaineSOS [@MESecOfState] (November 16, 2022). "Full Summary report here:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  62. ^ Collins, Steve (August 23, 2017). "Lewiston's Jared Golden takes aim at congressional seat". Sun Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  63. ^ "Moiles — Golden". Sun Journal. October 19, 2014.
  64. ^ "Jared Golden welcomes daughter". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. May 16, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  65. ^ "Super PAC Blasts Democratic Candidate's Marine Tattoos". Newsweek. August 28, 2018.
  66. ^ Clawson, Laura (August 27, 2018). "Republican super PAC attacks combat veteran for having tattoos". Daily Kos. Retrieved May 25, 2023.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded byas Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration and Communications
Served alongside: Jim Costa (Policy)
Succeeded by
as Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration
Preceded byas Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Communications Succeeded byas Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Communications
Preceded by
as Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration and Communications
Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration
Served alongside: Marie Pérez (Communications), Mary Peltola (Policy)
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by