Democratic Rep. Jared Golden — a tattooed Marine veteran and former staffer to GOP Sen. Susan Collins — is one of the rare members of Congress with genuine crossover appeal. For the past six years, he’s bucked his party on federal spending, Trump’s first impeachment, and gun control bills, and in 2023, he voted with President Biden less than any other House Democrat.

Despite Trump winning this district in both 2016 and 2020, by nine and six points, respectively, Golden has won reelection by impressive margins. Last cycle, former Rep. Bruce Poliquin, ousted by Golden in 2018, fell six points short of defeating Golden in his comeback bid.

National Republicans believe they have a better shot at unseating Golden this cycle with state Rep. Austin Theriault, a fresh-faced, 30-year-old former NASCAR driver in his first term in the state legislature. But first, he’ll need to get through a June 11 primary against one of his colleagues.

Last year, then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy recruited Theriault to challenge Golden. Theriault comes from a French-Canadian logging family in sprawling Aroostook County, which borders Quebec

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