When Elliotsville Plantation President Lucas St. Clair announced his candidacy for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, I barely batted any eye; a raised eyebrow perhaps, but nothing more. After all, a seemingly endless amount of southern Maine politicos have been eagerly awaiting another chance to unseat Rep. Bruce Poliquin and push their brand of politics on us in the north. But as Democrat darlings Hillary Clinton and Emily Cain found out – there is a lot more to Maine’s 2nd district than the liberal echo chamber of downtown Bangor.
St. Clair’s biography page on the Quimby Family Foundation website describes his rearing “in a hand-built log cabin with few amenities” – a dismal attempt at likening his background to arguably the poorest and hardest working folks in Maine. Sorry, we’re not buying it.
What follows is a litany of educational and professional highlights such as attendance at elite schools and an appointment to the Quimby Family Foundation Board. Nowhere did I see his time spent in the frozen Maine woods swinging a saw, breaking his back in the potato fields of The County or raking blueberries Downeast for day wages. He’s led a charmed life indeed.
St. Clair lives in the city of Portland, not exactly a conservative stronghold. While recently purchasing a home in the district he plans on running in may be a requirement to appear connected to his would be constituents, he will never be mistaken as a stalwart for the outdoorsman by the blue collar conservatives whose traditions and roots run deep here.
What southern Maine Democrats can’t seem to get a handle on is the fact that we make our living up here with our hands, not with our mouth. We earned what we have by hard work, not by handout. We like it that way. We also like our way of living and don’t need another outsider coming north to impose their liberal values on us. How can the entitled son of a left-wing millionaire seriously expect to represent the values, wants and needs of a simple, conservative district? Has he never heard the term ‘carpetbagger’?
Plenty has been written about the success of Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and the wide ranging support it has, and is, receiving. St. Clair was the face of that movement and no doubt believes voters will reward him for it.
Don’t believe the hype. Sure, there are some organizations, mostly around Millinocket, clinging to the hope of economic salvation through government intervention, but it hasn’t happened yet – anywhere. For the people of northern Maine, access and some the traditional activity enjoyed on the land now owned by the federal government has been lost. For the folks of southern Maine, a new place to not visit has been christened on their behalf. They don’t even have to worry about pesky hunters or noisy ATV riders.
The Quimby family’s success in acquiring vast tracts of Maine land and bequeathing it to the federal government has probably emboldened Mr. St. Clair in his choice to run. However, this time around, the battle won’t be waged in the mainstream media alone, where allies and friends could be counted on to shape the conversation and ensure victory. This time the voters of northern Maine will have their say in the outcome – just as they did in 2014 and 2016.