A leading critic of the hydropower transmission line through western Maine has leaped into the Republican primary field in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Elizabeth Caruso Submitted photo

Elizabeth Caruso, the top elected official in tiny Caratunk in Somerset County, filed paperwork Friday to enter the increasingly crowded GOP contest for the chance to take on two-term U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat. Golden is among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents because his sprawling district leans Republican.

Caruso, who could not be reached, has been the first selectman of her 66-person town since 2006 and has used the position in recent years to fight the proposed electrical transmission line under construction between Quebec and Lewiston.

Also in the running to take on Golden are ex-U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, state Rep. Mike Perkins of Oakland and Sean Joyce of Newburgh. A primary to choose the party’s standard bearer will likely take place in June. Party leaders in Washington have thrown their support behind Poliquin, who held the seat until Golden defeated him in 2018.

Former state Sen. Tom Saviello of Wilton said that while he remains a solid Golden supporter — “he is a moderate voice down there and a voice of reason” — he likes Caruso.

“Liz is brilliant. I really enjoyed working with her” against the corridor project, he said, because she’s articulate, bright and nice. Saviello said, though, she ought to run for a state House seat…

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