The Democratic primary last week in Maine provided proof that the influence of George Soros over the election of local prosecutors in the U.S. is still present for the 2022 election cycle.
Environmental attorney Jackie Sartoris beat incumbent Cumberland County District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck in the Tuesday election. Sartoris, who received substantial support from billionaire far-left political activist Soros, will now run unopposed in the November general election. No Republicans or independents qualified for the election.
Sartoris told reporters that he is “prepared for the hard work ahead” and looks forward to delivering “the criminal justice reforms we promised in this campaign.”
According to media reports, Soros spent $440,000 to defeat Sahrbeck in one of the elections he targeted as part of his nationwide effort to sweep progressive prosecutors into office. That amounts to more than the total spent in every Maine district attorney race by every candidate across the state from 2012 through 2020.
Sahrbeck is a former Republican who ran for office as an independent and later formally joined the Democratic Party. Sartoris declared herself a “lifelong Democrat” during the primary season.
The two candidates ran on different messages about the role a prosecuting attorney should play. Sahrbeck said that a district attorney should directly and constantly engage with community members about the issues that lead to prosecutions and imprisonment of offenders. Sartoris took the approach that the prosecutor should be primarily focused on policy decisions about how to approach crime.
Sartoris benefited from ads funded by Soros’ PAC that hammered Sahrbeck over his past GOP membership and his previous employment as an assistant to previous Republican District Attorney Stephanie Anderson.
During his campaign, Sahrbeck struck back at the Soros PAC by calling its involvement “outrageous.” He also called on Sartoris to denounce the attack ads against him and their out-of-state funding. He said, “Folks in Cumberland County should be disgusted by this attempt to buy this race.”
Sartoris largely responded by claiming it was important that the race was attracting national attention.
Sahrbeck said he would assist Sartoris as she takes office to “ensure the best possible outcome for the people of Cumberland County.”