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Congressman Bruce Poliquin Has Strong Family Ties to Lewiston

Congressman Bruce Poliquin

Many may not know that Congressman Bruce Poliquin has strong family ties to Lewiston. In fact, Poliquin’s family comes from Androscoggin County. His great-grandfather lived and raised his family in a home on land that sits near today’s Lewiston High School. Official 1920 Census records confirm that his grandfather Poliquin grew up in that house.

Bruce Poliquin as baby (r.) with brother.

“I’m proud to have a strong connection to the Lewiston-Auburn area,” said Poliquin. “It’s a privilege to represent Androscoggin County in the United States Congress. It’s even more special knowing my family is from the area.”

Bruce Poliquin as a child (r.) with his brother and father

A census record dated January 20, 1920 notes that a census taker stopped by the Poliquin household in Lewiston and recorded Lionel Poliquin as living in the family household. Bruce’s grandfather Lionel was 16 years old at the time.

Bruce Poliquin’s mother, Nurse Louise Poliquin

“It’s amazing to see the census document with my grandfather’s name listed,” said Poliquin. “It’s also fun to see his brothers and sisters, my great aunts and uncles, listed along with my great grandfather.”

1920 Census record of Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s grandfather Lionel Poliquin from Lewiston, Maine.

The document states that the family spoke French.

“I’m proud to part of the Franco-American community,” said Poliquin. “It wasn’t always easy for our Franco-American family members. Many historians have noted that the Ku Klux Klan was active in Maine back in the 1920s, targeting French-speaking Americans. However, we persevered, and the Franco American community became known for its hard work and determination.”

As Maine’s Congressman, Poliquin stands out as a Franco-American leader for the state.

He has pushed hard for welfare reform in Congress. This past year, he helped write part of a major bill that included Maine-based welfare reforms, specifically work requirements for work-capable adults who choose to take welfare benefits.

The legislation, commonly called the Farm Bill, deals with policies regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. Poliquin’s additions to the bill require 20 hours per week of work, job training, or community service for adults applying for taxpayer-funded food assistance who are able to work.

“We Mainers – of all stripes and backgrounds – have a tradition of working hard and caring for one another,” said Poliquin. “We don’t want a handout, we just want a fair shot. I think that’s an important part of who we are.”

“I’m all in for compassionately helping our fellow Americans build brighter futures by furthering their education, training for employment, and finding a job,” said Poliquin. “Common sense work requirements will make sure limited taxpayer-funded welfare benefits are directed to those with disabilities, the elderly sick, children, and others who cannot care for themselves.”

Poliquin also successfully fought against illegal and unfair trade from China to help save jobs at Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. The Lewiston-Auburn area company produces a heat-resistant industrial material, and Chinese producers were selling unfairly subsidized material at illegally cheaper prices, putting Auburn Manufacturing at a competitive disadvantage.

Poliquin testified before the International Trade Commission, winning a huge victory by successfully arguing on behalf of the jobs at Auburn Manufacturing.

“Mainers can compete and win against anyone – the rules just have to be fair,” said Poliquin. “Fair trade is so important, and I’m proud to fight for a level playing field and for our jobs.”

Poliquin, who serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the House, also led the effort to fix staffing shortages at the Lewiston Vet Center that had persisted for two years. Counseling personnel at the Vet Center had been understaffed for several months, limiting service to veterans and their families in the area. Poliquin pushed the VA to fill the vacancies, working across the aisle with local Republican and Democratic lawmakers and officials.

“Every day I work on issues which impact the Lewiston-Auburn area and the region,” he added. “From fighting unfair trade which harmed Auburn Manufacturing, to fighting VA staff shortages in the area, to being a voice on ideas to lower healthcare costs, I get to speak up and fight for Maine. It’s exciting and gratifying.”

Congressman Bruce Poliquin is a third-generation Mainer who represents Maine’s 2nd District, which includes Androscoggin County, in Congress.


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