Robert Cross, businessman and former U.S. Department of Agriculture employee, suspended his campaign Monday for the 2024 Republican primary race in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
“Throughout this campaign, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received from friends, neighbors, and citizens concerned about our nation’s direction,” Cross wrote Monday in a post to his campaign Facebook page. “After much prayerful reflection and consideration with my family, I have made the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for Congress.”
Cross, who describes himself as a proud Christian, business and community leader, and constitutional conservative, was the first Republican to declare his intent to challenge Democratic Congressman Jared Golden in April.
Since that time, Maine State Representatives Mike Soboleski (R-Phillips) and Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent) have declared their candidacies — both of whom remain in the race.
Read more of our coverage on the Republican 2024 candidates for Maine’s 2nd District:
- NASCAR Driver Austin Theriault Joins the Race for Maine’s Second Congressional District
- State Rep Mike Soboleski Officially Announces Campaign for Maine’s Second Congressional District
- State Rep Mike Soboleski Considers 2024 Challenge to Golden in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District: Interview
“I believe in doing what is best for the interest of our party and our shared conservative principles, and it is necessary to step aside at this time,” Cross said, explaining his decision to end his campaign.
“While my campaign for Congress is ending, I remain committed to the ideals that inspired my candidacy, and I am confident that our party will continue to champion the values that make our nation strong,” he added.
Through Sept. 30, Rob Cross’ campaign received a total of $56,830 in total contributions, with all but $250 of that total being individual contributions, according to his campaign’s latest FEC filing.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who believed in our vision and worked tirelessly to make it a reality,” he said. “While my journey is leading me on a different path, I am confident that the values we hold dear will endure and guide our great nation forward.”
Cross did not make an endorsement of Rep. Soboleski or Rep. Theriault in his Monday statement, but both candidates issued statements regarding Cross’ decision to suspend his campaign.
“I appreciate Rob Cross’s willingness to serve his state and community,” Theriault wrote in a brief post to X Monday evening. “I look forward to working with him to make Maine a better and more prosperous state for future generations.”
Theriault, who announced his entry into the Republican primary in late September, does not yet have a campaign finance filing publicly available — though the former NASCAR driver said on Oct. 1, less than a week after announcing his candidacy, that he had “put $100,000 in Mainers’ campaign contributions in the bank.”
Rep. Soboleski said Monday that Cross “is a principled conservative committed to advancing the values that made our nation strong and free for generations.”
“I look forward to Rob continuing to be a leader in our party for years to come,” Soboleski added.
Soboleski’s latest FEC filings indicate that his campaign has $12,440 on hand, having received $7,972 in individual contributions and $5,000 from Soboleski himself.
Incumbent Congressman Jared Golden, a centrist “Blue Dog” Democrat, has recently faced criticism from his two Republican 2024 opponents for reversing his position to now support a ban on assault rifles following the Oct. 25 shootings in Lewiston, Golden’s home town.
Both Theriault and Soboleski accused Golden of trying to use the mass shooting to push a liberal political agenda, and promised to support 2nd Amendment rights if elected.
Following Golden’s flip-flop on an assault rifle ban, the prominent election forecaster the Cook Political Report moved Maine’s 2024 2nd District race to a “Democrat Toss Up” designation.
“Fake moderate Jared Golden knows he is too extreme for Mainers, from defunding the police to taking money from The Squad. He’s in for a rude awakening next November,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Savannah Viar said regarding the “toss up” designation.