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Dem who stressed compromise wins Maine primary

  • FILE - This panel of May 31, 2014 file photos shows Emily Cain, left, and Troy Jackson, right, Democrat candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. Cain and Jackson will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Michael C. York, File)

    FILE - This panel of May 31, 2014 file photos shows Emily Cain, left, and Troy Jackson, right, Democrat candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. Cain and Jackson will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Michael C. York, File)

  • FILE - This panel of April 26, 2014 file photos shows Bruce Poliquin, left, and Kevin Raye, right, Republican candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine GOP Convention in Bangor, Maine. Poliquin and Raye will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

    FILE - This panel of April 26, 2014 file photos shows Bruce Poliquin, left, and Kevin Raye, right, Republican candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine GOP Convention in Bangor, Maine. Poliquin and Raye will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

  • FILE - This panel of May 31, 2014 file photos shows Emily Cain, left, and Troy Jackson, right, Democrat candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. Cain and Jackson will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Michael C. York, File)

    FILE - This panel of May 31, 2014 file photos shows Emily Cain, left, and Troy Jackson, right, Democrat candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. Cain and Jackson will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Michael C. York, File)

  • FILE - This panel of May 31, 2014 file photos shows Emily Cain, left, and Troy Jackson, right, Democrat candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. Cain and Jackson will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Michael C. York, File)
  • FILE - This panel of April 26, 2014 file photos shows Bruce Poliquin, left, and Kevin Raye, right, Republican candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine GOP Convention in Bangor, Maine. Poliquin and Raye will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
  • FILE - This panel of May 31, 2014 file photos shows Emily Cain, left, and Troy Jackson, right, Democrat candidates in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaking at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. Cain and Jackson will face off in the June 10 primary for their party's nomination. (AP Photo/Michael C. York, File)

Liberal consensus-builder Emily Cain defeated working-class champion Troy Jackson yesterday in the Democratic primary for Maine’s open congressional seat, which Republicans hope to wrest away from Democrats for the first time in two decades.

Cain was winning 71 percent to 29 percent with 128 out of 422 precincts reporting in unofficial returns. She will take on the winner of the hotly contested Republican primary between Tea Party favorite Bruce Poliquin and establishment Republican Kevin Raye.

Both races to fill the seat in the largely rural district in Maine pitted political firebrands against those who vowed to mend the partisan divisions in Congress.

Jackson and Poliquin framed their foes as being too eager to compromise their party’s values. Cain and Raye countered that their opponents’ “my-way-or-the-highway” attitudes would further political division in Washington.

Cain campaigned on her time in the state Senate negotiating billion-dollar budgets while highlighting her differences with Jackson over social issues. A Kentucky native, she moved to Maine to go to the university in Orono, where she lives and works in marketing and alumni relations for the honors college.

Jackson, a logger from Allagash, said he would be a much-needed voice for hardworking Mainers and would fight Republicans to uphold Democratic values, like health care.

He tried to paint Cain as a Republican and criticized her for being one of the few Democrats who have been able to work well with GOP Gov. Paul LePage. He also attacked her for supporting a budget that included $400 million in tax cuts, which he said helped only the upper class.

Cain countered that she was consistently in favor of abortion rights and highlighted that her opponent was the only Democratic senator to vote against same-sex marriage in the legislature in 2009. Jackson, for his part, said he wished he could take back his vote against same-sex marriage.

Throughout the bitter battle for the GOP nomination, Raye was framed as the establishment Republican in the race against tea party favorite Poliquin.

Poliquin called Raye a “liberal,” and attacked him for not signing a no-tax pledge. The Harvard-educated businessman and former state treasurer also campaigned heavily on his opposition to abortion rights, which Raye has supported.

Raye said his opponents’ “my-way-or-the-highway” approach would only continue the political gridlock in Washington.

The former chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe also questioned Poliquin’s decision to move to the 2nd District instead of staying in the 1st District to challenge Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree.

The departure of Rep. Mike Michaud, who’s leaving after three terms in Congress to challenge Republican Gov. Paul LePage, gives the GOP a chance to reclaim the seat that Democrats have held for nearly 20 years.

This is Raye’s third attempt to represent the district in Congress. He lost to Michaud in the general election in 2002 and again in 2012.

Poliquin was coming off two defeats, having lost in the 2010 primary for Maine governor and the 2012 primary to fill the U.S. Senate seat that now belongs to independent Angus King.

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