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Republican Candidates in the 2nd Congressional District Primary Race

A look at the Republican Party's 2nd Congressional District hopefuls on the issues.

The winner of the June 10, 2014 Republican Primary Election will go on to face the winner of the Democratic Primary Election. The seat is being vacated by Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud, who is running for governor in November.


  Bruce Poliquin
Bruce Poliquin
Kevin Raye
Kevin Raye
  Economy/Job Creation  
  Believes the U.S. has to become more competitive as a country. The business tax rate in the U.S. is about 40 percent; for business owners in Canada, the rate is 26 percent, in Mexico it's 30 percent and in China, 25 percent. Thinks the U.S. is a very expensive place to do business, and that regulations are too burdensome. He thinks changing that will help businesses be more successful. Favors focusing more attention in Washington on jobs and the economy. Favors laws that encourage private sector investment. "People want Congress to stop the bickering, stop the fighting, focus on getting some things done and make jobs job 1." Favors steps to make private sector investment more attractive. Thinks the regulatory environment discourages innovation and job creation.  
  Entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security  
  For seniors who have put into Social Security, would make sure that the program doesn't change for those depending on it. For younger people, unless we reform programs, he fears they might not have the benefits when they get to be seniors. Considers the Social Security program "a $16 trillion unfunded defined benefit pension plan." To "save it for next generation," he would consider raising the retirement age to perhaps as high as 70. Would consider means testing. "Congress has to grow up. The administration has to grow up, and stop using these issues (entitlements) as political weapons." Believes that entitlement reform is a "national task" that everyone has to work together to resolve. Believes the issue goes beyond entitlements: "We have a spending problem, period." Supports a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In terms of reforms, favors looking first at raising the retirement age, since people are living longer.  
  Health Care  
  Thinks the Affordable Care Act could ruin the "best private heatlh insurance system in the world to insure 15 percent of population." Instead, favors allowing families to shop across state lines to purchase health insurance and to pay for private insurance through tax credits. Believes we need to subsidize those who can't afford insurance. Thinks that the Affordable Care Act will remain in place as long as President Obama is in the White House, unless opponents of the program capture veto-proof majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. Meanwhile, he favors examining ways to make the law "less damaging to the economy."  
  [Awaiting candidate's response.] Favors a woman's right to choose without restrictions in early pregnancy, but thinks there's a "public interest" when the fetus develops to a point where it could survive outside the womb. Favors considering a proposal that would limit abortions after 20 weeks gestation.  
  Foreign Policy/Russia  
  Blames Russian encroachment in the Ukraine on what happens "when America projects weakness around the world." Believes the U.S. did that when the decision was made not to deploy a missile shield in the Czech Republic and in Poland. He would try to organize the European Union to shut off financial credit to Russian companies, and delist some companies on stock exchanges around the world. He would also reinstate the missile shield in eastern Europe. [Awaiting candidate's response.]  
  Thinks U.S. should ensure that "the men and women who fought bravely for our country have services when they come home." He claims that the nation spends only $140 billion a year on veterans' benefits. "We have big government with too much debt and it's starting to crowd out our ability to fund veterans' benefits and other things." [Awaiting candidate's response.]  
  Climate Change/Environment  
  [Awaiting candidate's response.] Favors examining cap-and-trade programs to determine their economic impacts and effectiveness. "I don't know anybody who wants to breathe dirty air or drink dirty water, or inhale chemicals or consume chemicals, or have loved ones subjected to it." Would weigh proposals to ensure that they protect both public health and the nation's economic future.  
  Favors driving down the cost of energy in a way that protects the environment. Favors "fully developing" oil and natural gas deposits in North America, where neighbors are friendly. Thinks the U.S. needs to become energy independent by increasing the supply in order to drive down prices. Opposes subsidies for big oil and alternative energy industries. Favors predictable regulations and low taxes on the energy industry. [Awaiting candidate's response.]  
  Would stop throwing "cheap, cheap money" at higher education institutions, as it pulls kids into taking on debt that they can't afford to pay back when they get out. Thinks that schools need to tighten their belts because the federal government is "flat broke," borrows money to pay its bills and is $17 trillion in debt. The state of Maine is broke. Government needs to live within its means. Would maintain a federal commitment to higher education. "I would not have been able to go to Bates College and get my education without student loans." Favors ensuring that young Americans have similar opportunities. Believes student debt is a "huge problem," and favors ensuring that interest rates on student loans remain low. Would encourage higher education institutions to keep costs low. "The inflation rate in higher education is well beyond that in the wider economy." However, believes cost control is the responsibility of colleges, not Congress. In terms of training programs for those not attending college, he favors a top-to-bottom review to reduce duplication and gauge effectiveness.  
  GOP Candidate grid
  Democratic candidates views on the issues Go to the Your Vote 2014 home page

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