AUGUSTA, Maine — A primary-term state lawmaker from Franklin County is the second Republican to declare a run towards U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District, which is anticipated to be a high nationwide battleground within the 2024 elections.
Rep. Michael Soboleski, R-Phillips, launched a Thursday video saying his run towards Golden, a third-term Democrat representing a conservative-leaning district that has been a high nationwide battleground for a decade. Former President Donald Trump received it in 2016 and 2020.
“Individuals are indignant, individuals are annoyed, they see their freedoms being eroded on daily basis, they usually’re struggling to remain afloat,” he mentioned within the video.
Soboleski figures to be an rebel conservative candidate in a burgeoning Republican major. Fellow first-term Rep. Austin Theriault, a former NASCAR driver from Presque Isle, is anticipated to affix the race this month with the backing of Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California. Former Maine Senate hopeful Robert Cross of Dedham can also be working.
Golden, a Marine veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, can be a troublesome opponent. Soboleski’s video used an image of Golden and President Joe Biden touring to Maine collectively in July. He continued Republican efforts to tie the congressman to nationwide Democrats, together with by saying he has “carried out nothing” to guard the southern border.
Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin tried an identical line towards Golden of their 2022 race, however that they had few substantive variations on border coverage. Whereas Golden overwhelmingly votes along with his celebration, he is likely one of the Home’s high centrists and sometimes breaks with Democrats. He not too long ago angered Maine progressives with a agency stance towards Biden’s scholar debt reduction plans.
Soboleski has solely briefly been on the political stage right here. His district is likely one of the most conservative areas of the state. He received a 2022 major by simply 5 votes over Rangeley businesswoman Nancy Bessey, happening to win the seat simply within the common election.
Greater than most state lawmakers, he has been a vocal supporter of Trump. Soboleski’s 2022 marketing campaign web page included a quote of him saying “we have been all higher off” beneath the previous president’s insurance policies. Trump additionally signed a replica of his guide “The Artwork of the Deal” for Soboleski in 1989, and the Maine lawmaker posted an image of it on his marketing campaign website.
The brand new candidate has an eclectic background. Soboleski grew up in Gardiner and served stateside within the Marines, went to the College of Maine at Machias on the GI Invoice, ran a small enterprise right here after which turned a automobile salesman.
After that, he pursued a profession as an actor and stuntman. Underneath the stage identify Michael Arthur, he typically performed small roles as cops, together with within the 2003 movie “Anger Administration” and three episodes of “Legislation and Order: Particular Victims Unit” between 2002 and 2010. He carried out stunts in Martin Scorcese’s 2006 movie “The Departed.”
Whereas dwelling in a Midtown Manhattan condo in the course of the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, Soboleski joined a crew of first responders that looked for survivors and stays on the World Commerce Heart website. He later pushed for Congress passage of the Zadroga Act, a legislation that gives well being monitoring and help to 9/11 responders and was enacted in 2011.