Jared Forrest Golden (born July 25, 1982) is an American politician 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, covers the northern four-fifths of the state, including Lewiston, Bangor and Auburn. Golden is the first member of Congress elected by ranked-choice voting.[1] He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a United States Marine.

Early life and education

Golden was born in Lewiston and raised in Leeds.[2] 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.[3][4]

After returning home to Maine, Golden attended Bates College, graduating with a degree in history and politics.[5] 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.[6][4]

Maine House of Representatives

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.[3] Golden chaired the Elections committee and the Joint Select Committee on Joint Rules.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives



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.[3] On June 20, 2018, he was declared the winner of the Democratic primary, defeating environmentalist Lucas St. Clair and bookstore owner Craig Olson.[8]

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. Exit polls indicated that 90% of the independents’ supporters ranked Golden as their second choice, which on paper was enough to give Golden the victory.[9] 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 be 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 data company FiveThirtyEight predicted that Golden had a 96 out of a 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 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.[21] 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.[22]

On February 6, 2020, Golden endorsed Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado for president during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[23]

As of September 2021, Golden had voted in line with Joe Biden‘s stated position 81.3% of the time.[24]

Political positions

Build Back Better

Golden was the lone House Democrat to vote against the Build Back Better Act, citing concerns about tax cuts that would benefit the wealthy.[25]


Golden was the only Democrat to vote against the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 to expand background checks on gun purchases and one of two 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.[26]


Golden was one of two Democrats, alongside Kurt Schrader of Oregon, to vote against the first version of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a stimulus bill intended to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic fallout.[27] He cited concerns such as broad eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks and high levels of public debt, saying, “At some point, the bill has to come due.”[28]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Maine’s 2nd congressional district, 2018 Democratic primary elections results[33]
PartyCandidateRound 1Round 3
Votes%TransferVotes% (gross)% (net)
DemocraticJared Golden20,98746.4%+2,62423,61152.2%54.3%
DemocraticLucas St. Clair17,74239.2%+2,11119,85343.9%45.7%
DemocraticCraig Olson3,9938.8%-3,993Eliminated
DemocraticJonathan Fulford2,4895.5%-2,489Eliminated
Total active votes45,211100%43,464100.0%
Exhausted ballots+1,7471,7473.9%
Total votes45,211100%45,211100.0%

% (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[34]
PartyCandidateRound 1Round 3
Votes%TransferVotes% (gross)% (net)
DemocraticJared Golden132,01345.6%+ 10,427142,44049.18%50.62%
RepublicanBruce Poliquin (incumbent)134,18446.3%+ 4,747138,93147.97%49.38%
IndependentTiffany Bond16,5525.7%– 16,552Eliminated
IndependentWill Hoar6,8752.4%– 6,875Eliminated
Total active votes289,624100%281,371100%
Exhausted ballots+8,2538,2532.85%
Total votes289,624100%289,624100%

% (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[35]
Democratic Jared Golden (incumbent) 197,974 53.0
RepublicanDale Crafts175,22847.0
Total votes373,235 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life

Golden’s wife Isobel (née Moiles) served as a city councilor in Lewiston from 2016 to 2018.[36][37] They have a daughter who was born in May 2021.[38]


  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. ^ Collins, Steve (September 9, 2018). “Jared Golden: From combat to candidate for Congress”. Sun Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b Collins, Steve (September 9, 2018). “Jared Golden: From combat to candidate for Congress”. Sun Journal. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Shepherd, Michael (August 24, 2017). “Poliquin may have to beat a Marine veteran to keep his seat”. Bangor Daily News. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ “Jared Golden calls himself a veteran who still wants to serve”. Sun Journal. August 23, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  7. ^ “Member Profile – Historical View”. The Maine House of Representatives. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  8. ^ Collins, Steve (June 20, 2018). “Democrat Jared Golden declared winner of congressional primary”. Sun Journal. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Bill Nemitz (November 11, 2018). “Poliquin faces uphill battle for House seat”. =Portland Press Herald.
  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’s new Rep. Golden votes against Pelosi for House speaker”. Portland Press Herald. Associated Press. January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  22. ^ Foran, Clare; Byrd, Haley (December 18, 2019). “Democrat to split his vote on impeachment articles”. CNN. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  23. ^ Cadelago, Christopher; Mutnick, Ally (February 6, 2020). “Michael Bennet’s first House endorsement is from Trump Country”. Politico. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  24. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  25. ^ Choi, Joseph (November 19, 2021). “Jared Golden sole Democrat to vote against Build Back Better Act”. The Hill.
  26. ^ Conradis, Brandon (March 11, 2021). “The eight Republicans who voted to tighten background checks on guns”. The Hill. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  27. ^ “H.R. 1319: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 — House Vote #49 — Feb 27, 2021”. GovTrack. February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  28. ^ “Golden Statement on Vote Against $1.9 Trillion Legislative Package”. Representative Jared Golden. February 27, 2021.
  29. ^ “Committees and Caucuses”. Representative Jared Golden. December 13, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  30. ^ “Members”. Blue Dog Coalition. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  31. ^ “For Country Caucus Announces Chairs, Members for 117th Congress”. Representative Jared Golden. February 25, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  32. ^ “Featured Members”. Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  33. ^ “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.
  34. ^ “Results Certified to the Governor 11/26/18”. www.maine.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  35. ^ “November 3, 2020 General Election”. Maine Department of Secretary of State. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  36. ^ Collins, Steve (August 23, 2017). “Lewiston’s Jared Golden takes aim at congressional seat”. Sun Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  37. ^ “Moiles — Golden”. Sun Journal. October 19, 2014.
  38. ^ Press, The Associated (May 16, 2021). “Jared Golden welcomes daughter”. Bangor Daily News. Retrieved June 14, 2021.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine’s 2nd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by