Jared Forrest Golden, known as Jared Golden, born on July 25, 1982, is an American politician and a Marine Corps veteran who assumed office in 2019 as the U.S. representative for Maine’s 2nd congressional district.
Affiliated with the Democratic Party, his expansive district, the largest east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, encompasses the northern four-fifths of the state, including major cities like Lewiston, Bangor, and Auburn.
Notably, Jared Golden, Angus King, and Chellie Pingree made history by being the first members of Congress to be elected through ranked-choice voting. Unique to his election, Golden secured his congressional seat despite finishing second place during the initial tabulation round.
Notably, he also has a background of deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan while serving in the United States Marine Corps.
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Early life and education
Jared Golden hails from Lewiston and spent his formative years in Leeds. He received his education at Leavitt Area High School before continuing higher education.
He began his academic journey at the University of Maine at Farmington. Still, he took a significant turn in his life by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 2002. This decision led to his deployment on combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Upon his return to Maine, Golden continued his academic pursuits at Bates College, where he earned a degree in history and politics.
After college, he entered the professional world, working for an international logistics firm. Later, he served as a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee under Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins.
Jared Golden’s Personal Life
Jared Golden’s spouse, Isobel (formerly Moiles), held the city councilor position in Lewiston from 2016 to 2018. The couple welcomed a daughter into their family in May 2021.
Golden bears at least five tattoos as remembrances from his service in the U.S. military, which include a Celtic Sun Cross tattoo on his forearm and a “devil dog” tattoo.
Jared Golden in Maine House of Representatives
In 2013, Jared Golden returned to Maine and took a position with the House Democratic Office within the Maine Legislature.
As a member of the Democratic Party, he launched his political career by running for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives in 2014, where he represented a portion of Lewiston.
His successful election led to his re-election in 2016. During the subsequent legislative term, Golden assumed the role of Assistant House Majority Leader.
During his tenure, he held the positions of chair for the Elections Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Joint Rules.
Jared Golden as U.S. House of Representatives
Jared Golden announced his candidacy against Bruce Poliquin for the United States House of Representatives in Maine’s 2nd congressional district on August 24, 2017.
He emerged as the winner of the Democratic primary on June 20, 2018, defeating opponents Lucas St. Clair, an environmentalist, and Craig Olson, a bookstore owner.
On election night, Golden initially trailed Poliquin by 2,000 votes. As neither candidate secured a majority, Maine’s newly implemented ranked-choice voting system mandated the redistribution of independent candidates Tiffany Bond and William Hoar’s votes to either Poliquin or Golden, depending on the second choice of their supporters.
Golden received a substantial portion of the independents’ second-choice votes, enabling him to defeat Poliquin by a margin of 3,000 votes ultimately. His victory marked the first time an incumbent was unseated in the district since 1916.
Poliquin contested the use of ranked-choice voting, claiming victory due to his first-round lead. However, his legal efforts were unsuccessful, as Judge Lance E. Walker upheld the certified results.
Poliquin’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit was likewise rejected, and he eventually dropped his lawsuit on December 24, allowing Golden to assume the seat.
Jared Golden ran for re-election in 2020 and secured the Democratic primary unopposed. He faced Republican opponent Dale Crafts, a former Maine Representative.
Golden was favored to win the general election, with polling indicating a lead of approximately 19% over Crafts. Notably, various sources, including Sabato’s Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report, rated the contest as “Likely Democratic,” FiveThirtyEight predicted a 96 out of 100 chance of Golden’s victory, with a projected vote share of nearly 57%.
In the November election, Golden defeated Crafts with a margin of 53% to 47%, a closer outcome than initially anticipated, especially considering that President Donald Trump carried the district in the same election.
Golden ran for re-election in 2022, securing the Democratic primary unopposed. His opponents included former Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin, whom he narrowly defeated in 2018, and independent candidate Tiffany Bond, who also ran for the 2nd congressional district seat in 2018.
In July, the Fraternal Order of Police, Maine’s largest police union, endorsed Golden, along with former Republican governor Paul LePage. While polls indicated Golden was leading, several organizations considered the race a “tossup,” attributing this uncertainty to President Joe Biden’s unpopularity and high inflation.
Decision Desk HQ even rated the seat as “Leans Republican.” Nevertheless, Golden emerged victorious, leading the field in the first round and ultimately defeating Poliquin by a margin of 53% to 47% after receiving most of Bond’s second-choice votes.
Jared Golden’s Tenure
Jared Golden took the oath of office on January 3, 2019. In the House Speaker election, he adhered to his campaign pledge and voted against Democratic Caucus nominee Nancy Pelosi, opting to vote for Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois.
On December 18, 2019, Jared Golden backed Article I of the impeachment articles against Donald Trump. However, he stood with two other Democrats in voting against Article II.
As of August 2022, Golden aligned with Joe Biden’s stated positions 85.7% of the time, representing the lowest rate among members of the Democratic caucus.
Build Back Better Act
Jared Golden stood out as the sole House Democrat who opposed the Build Back Better Act, expressing reservations due to the removal of the $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction and the lack of reforms in prescription drug pricing.
However, he subsequently joined his Democratic colleagues in voting for the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an amended iteration of the initial bill.
Jared Golden’s COVID-19 Policy
On January 31, 2023, Jared Golden joined a group of seven Democrats in supporting H.R.497: Freedom for Health Care Workers Act, a legislation designed to eliminate COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.
He also joined 12 Democrats on February 1, 2023, to vote for a resolution ending the COVID-19 national emergency.
Criminal Justice Reform
Golden was one of two Democrats who voted against the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. In his statement following the vote, Golden acknowledged the bill’s favorable provisions but expressed concerns about provisions restricting qualified immunity and the lack of negotiations to address problematic changes.
On May 24, 2023, Jared Golden aligned with another House Democrat in voting alongside Republicans to overturn President Biden’s plan for student loan debt cancellation.
Amid the Russo-Ukrainian War, Jared Golden spearheaded the organization of a letter, co-signed by multiple members of Congress, urging President Biden to supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Jared Golden’s Role in Guns Policy
Jared Golden notably stood alone among House Democrats in voting against the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.
He was also one of only two House Democrats, along with Ron Kind of Wisconsin, to dissent from the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, which aimed to address the Charleston loophole. Both bills successfully passed the House in March 2021.
In 2022, Golden and another Democratic representative voted against raising the minimum age for the purchase of semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
However, in light of the tragic 2023 Lewiston shootings in his hometown, Golden had a change of stance on October 26, 2023. He issued an apology and called for a congressional ban on assault weapons.
On December 8, 2022, Golden voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, aimed at overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and federally protecting same-sex and interracial marriages.
On July 14, 2023, Golden was one of four Democrats who voted with the majority of House Republicans to pass the annual defense policy bill, which included provisions prohibiting Pentagon spending on abortion and transgender surgeries.
Golden received an “A” rating from NORML for his voting record on cannabis-related matters.
Golden was one of 38 Democrats against the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement Implementation Act.
He cited concerns about labeling requirements and enforcement in protecting Maine’s businesses and workers as reasons for his vote.
Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
- Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
Committee on Small Business
- Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce (Chair)
- Blue Dog Coalition
- For Country Caucus (co-chair)
- Problem Solvers Caucus
- Official Website of Jared Golden
- Jared Golden – Wikipedia
- Jared Golden – More Information
- Jared Golden – Wikipedia
- Jared Golden for Congress – About
- Jared Golden – Military Times Caucus
- Jared Golden – Vote Smart
- Jared Forrest Golden – LegiStorm
- Jared Golden – New Politics
- Jared Golden – Ballotpedia
- Jared Golden – VoteView