Soros backed candidate ousts Maine district attorney following major cash injection into the race

Jacqueline Sartoris had raised about half as much money as her incumbent opponent, until a Soros-backed Super PAC spent nearly $400,000 on the local race.

Updated: June 16, 2022 - 5:16pm

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A Maine attorney backed by billionaire George Soros has ousted incumbent prosecutor Jonathan Sahrbeck in the state's largest county.

The attorney, Jacqueline Sartoris, won roughly 65% of the vote in the Cumberland County District Attorney race, according to local station WMTM.

No Republicans are currently registered to run in November, meaning Sartoris may run unopposed in the general election.

Soros is known for backing liberal policies and candidates. 

In the weeks leading up to the primary, Sartoris' campaign reportedly received about $385,000 from the Soros-backed Super PAC Maine Justice and Safety.

The amount is nearly five times the combined total of what both candidates spent on the race, according to the Epoch Times.

Prior to the Super PAC's support of Sartoris, Sahrbeck has raised nearly twice as much as his opponent.

Sahrbeck and Sartoris are registered Democrats but assume different policy positions by way of top priority.

Sahrbeck saw mental health and drug addiction as the leading reasons for crime and fought to get more offenders into court-ordered treatment programs.

Sartoris argued that the district attorney's main job is to set prosecution standards and campaigned on a platform of reducing jail and prison populations. 

"People are mostly unaware that prosecutors have an incredible amount of power in the system. We, in fact, have the greatest power in the criminal justice system," she said during the campaign.

Until the 2018 cycle, Republican Stephanie Anderson held the top prosecutor job in Cumberland County.

Sahrbeck, then a Republican-turned Independent candidate, faced off against a Democrat who dropped out before the general election, handing the position to Sahrbeck, who only received about one-quarter of the votes.

Last year, Sahrbeck once again flipped party affiliations, this time becoming a Democrat. He argued that his record as a DA reflects the values of the Democratic Party.