Dale Crafts, a former Republican lawmaker from Lisbon Falls, said Thursday he plans to jump into the 2nd Congressional District race.

Dale Crafts at the State House several years ago. File photo

“It felt like it was the right thing to do,” Crafts said.

He plans a formal announcement next week.

Crafts, who served in the state House of Representatives for four terms through 2016, hopes to unseat first-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Lewiston.

To get the chance, he will need to win a GOP primary next June against another Republican contender already running hard, and possibly others.

Former state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn, who lost a U.S. Senate race last year, has raised more than $300,000 for his congressional bid in next year’s election.

Adrienne Bennett, a former press secretary to ex-Gov. Paul LePage, has said she’s likely going to enter the contest as well. She registered to vote in Bangor recently and set up an Instagram account that mentioned a campaign website and plans to take Golden’s seat.

A three-way primary followed by a tough battle against Golden promises lots of action.

“I know it’s a huge undertaking,” Crafts said. “It’s going to be brutal.”

But, he said, he has the political and business experience to pull it off. He said he’s always worked long, hard days and it won’t be any different for him on the campaign trail.

Crafts said a few people approached him about running against Golden, who won a close contest in 2018 to knock out U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, and that got him thinking. He spoke with friends and family about the possibility, including his cousin, former state Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason of Lisbon.

He said he decided to take on the challenge because “I feel prepared for it” and, just as important, “there’s a path to victory.”

Part of what spurred him, he said, was dismay at all the division in the country.

“It’s quite concerning,” Crafts said.

Crafts said he will talk more about his plans and thoughts on the race when he makes his official announcement at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at the MTM Community Center, 18 School St. in Lisbon Falls.


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