The 2016 campaign in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District kicked off Tuesday, when Democrat Emily Cain said that she will seek a rematch with freshman U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

The move from Cain, a 34-year-old former state senator from Orono, was widely expected and sets up what promises to be one of the priority national races for the U.S. House of Representatives next year. But it came 20 months before Election Day and just two months after the Republican congressman’s swearing-in.

After Cain’s announcement on Tuesday, a press release from the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House majority, led with a one-word sentence: “Yawn.”

Cain’s potential primary rivals said her announcement won’t scare them out of the race and Michael Cuzzi, a Democratic strategist who has worked for President Barack Obama, said he’s “not surprised that Emily is running, but I’m surprised that the announcement has come this early.”

“Poliquin hasn’t really had a chance to establish a record that provides Emily with a compelling case to run against,” Cuzzi said. “So, what this ends up looking like is a continuation of the last campaign rather than the launch of a new campaign.”

In an interview, Cain said while she was proud of her last campaign, the next one must be “even stronger.” She said she announced early to “include as many people as possible” in that effort.

“There’s no question this is going to have to be bigger and this is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time from a lot of people,” Cain said.

National Democrats have been pushing Cain to run ever since she lost the November election to Poliquin, gaining just 42 percent of votes. Their 2014 race was the most expensive U.S. House race in Maine’s history, with outside groups spending $3 million trying to get Cain or Poliquin elected. But since the modern-day 2nd District was created in the 1960s, an incumbent has never lost.

Already, both parties are bracing themselves for an expensive contest in 2016. Poliquin is one of 12 House members in a national Republican program for vulnerable incumbents, while Democrats have dubbed him one of 15 vulnerable Republican “one-term wonders,” expecting their party to be in a good position to gain seats in a presidential election year.

Cain’s 2014 campaign was built on a message of compromise, touting her work at “staying at the table” to negotiate with Republicans during a decade-long career in the Maine Legislature. In a June primary, she easily beat Troy Jackson, a logger and labor Democrat from Allagash who criticized her for voting for tax cuts he said were “for the rich.”

Cuzzi, who is also a Maine Sunday Telegram columnist, said he thinks Democratic primary voters have undergone an “ideological hardening” since the 2014 elections, referencing the effort to draft liberal U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to run for the party’s presidential nod in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, Jackson, now a Democratic national committeeman from Maine, said he’s thinking about running again. He said Cain’s entry wouldn’t push him out and that Poliquin won his campaign by staking out strong conservative positions.

“When it comes down to their issue, I don’t think people care about who’s partisan,” Jackson said. “They want to people to fight for them and get results.”

Bangor city councilors Joe Baldacci and Ben Sprague have also said they’re considering primary runs in 2016. Asked if Cain’s entry changed anything for him, Baldacci said, “No. I think we all expected her to make another attempt.” Sprague couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Poliquin was quick with a response to Cain’s renewed campaign on Tuesday, when political consultant Brent Littlefield issued a statement saying Cain’s “Washington advisors are quite desperate to tap into her donors” but “they should hold onto their purses and wallets.”

Since his election, Poliquin, a Republican, has rankled some activists in his party. Notably, he voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act, saying while he opposes it, his party must have a new law ready to replace it. Littlefield said Poliquin “is rejecting politics as usual,” renewing a 2014 campaign attack on Cain’s support of a carbon tax, saying it’s one of her “expensive, extreme policies.”

But Cain called his health care vote “very political,” also saying he has voted against abortion rights and the environment. He has backed a bill aimed at prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortions and supports the Keystone XL pipeline, and Cain said he hasn’t been centrist so far.

“What we’ve seen is that he’s just as extreme as ever and that he’s as political as ever,” she said.