AUGUSTA, Maine — After days of ranked-choice tabulation, Dale Crafts was declared the winner of the Republican primary for Maine's 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday.
In the race in ME CD2, Crafts collected 45% of votes in the preliminary round before ranked-choice, compared to 23% for Eric Brakey and 32% for Adrienne Bennett. Both Brakey and Bennett quickly conceded to Crafts, with Brakey conceding the night of the primary and Bennett conceding the following morning.
However, candidates are required to receive more than 50% in order to win the race without RCV. So, the race went to a ranked-choice count.
Dale Crafts received 58% of the vote following ranked-choice tabulation.
Five other races required ranked-choice tabulation as well: House Districts 41, 47, 49, 90, and Senate District 11.
The unofficial results for all the six races are posted to the Secretary of State webpage. The Secretary of State's Office notes all results are unofficial; the Elections division has 20 days post-election, per Maine law, to certify all the results from the Primary and State Referendum election of July 14, 2020. The official results for the full election will be posted online after they are communicated to Gov. Mills, within the statutory timeframe.
Crafts, a former state representative and businessman, will now face Democratic incumbent Jared Golden in November.
“Since Wednesday, the Crafts for Congress campaign has been focused on November 3rd and defeating Jared Golden," Crafts said in a statement Tuesday. "We have united as Republicans and Mainers, because we understand the need for experienced leadership in Washington.”
Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra responded to Crafts' victory with the following statement:
Two years ago, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike across the Second Congressional District put their trust in Jared Golden to be an independent voice for Maine. Congressman Jared Golden has delivered. From working to improve health care for veterans to introducing legislation to help small businesses economically devastated by the pandemic to supporting lobstermen and shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works, Congressman Golden has gone above and beyond to serve his constituents.
There’s no one more perfect to continue representing the values Maine people hold dear than Congressman Golden, a Marine veteran who puts service above all else. That’s why our grassroots operation is out in full force doing everything in our power to make sure those values continue to be represented in Washington. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves, do the work, and send Congressman Jared Golden back to Congress to continue working tirelessly for Maine’s Second District.
Crafts issued a release last Thursday calling on the Maine Legislature to revisit the ranked-choice tabulation process.
Crafts said, “The added cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to tabulate an election that has been completed is an affront to the taxpayer at this difficult time in situations where a tabulation is not necessary.”
“While I understand that RCV is the law of the land and Secretary Dunlap is performing his duty under the law, it seems completely ridiculous to me that we would perform a dog and pony show at a cost of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to the taxpayer,” Crafts said. “As a businessman I understand that you don’t spend money you don’t need on things you can’t afford. I understand that liberals love the Ranked Choice Voting scheme, but to spend money on something that doesn’t even matter is offensive to me as a taxpayer.”