Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s path to regaining his old congressional seat just got a little easier.

Trey Stewart Submitted photo

His most formidable foe within the Republican Party, state Sen. Trey Stewart of Presque Isle, said Thursday he is dropping out in deference “to my friend and mentor, Congressman Bruce Poliquin.”

The 27-year-old law student said he had done “a lot of soul searching” since Poliquin got into the race and ultimately decided he should support Poliquin’s bid to retake the 2nd District seat from two-term Democrat Jared Golden of Lewiston.

He called it “the most responsible choice” and vowed to “do everything I can to help” Poliqun win.

Poliquin, who served two terms, lost the seat in 2018 to Golden in one of the country’s closest races. Golden defeated Lisbon’s Dale Crafts last year to hang onto the seat in a district that went heavily for Donald Trump in the presidential race.

Poliquin, a 67-year-old developer from Oakland, still faces a potential primary next June from Rep. Michael Perkins of Oakland. Perkins, though, appears to have done little or no campaigning since filing as a candidate in May.

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