AUGUSTA, Maine — A state legislator from York County left the Republican Party on Thursday without explaining his decision to unenroll, reducing the party’s minority in the Maine House of Representatives to 56 and becoming the seventh independent in the chamber.
Rep. Don Marean confirmed that he left his party in a Friday text message, but he said “out of respect” for House Republicans, he had no comment on his decision and would let it speak for itself.
“We were informed by the speaker’s office yesterday that he has unenrolled,” John Bott, spokesman for House Republicans, said Friday. “We do not have any details on his decision.”
Marean is term-limited from running in 2020 after six overall terms in the Legislature. He won his seat in 2018 with 56 percent of votes and represents his hometown of Hollis and parts of Buxton. He was recently assigned to serve as the ranking Republican on the Legislature’s tax committee.
Marean has been a moderate member of a conservative caucus. Last year, he was one of four Republicans who opposed former Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to ban conversion therapy, a widely condemned and pseudoscientific treatment that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Democrats won 89 seats in the 151-member chamber in last year’s election. The other independents in the Legislature are Kent Ackley of Monmouth, Norman Higgins of Dover-Foxcroft, Jeff Evangelos of Friendship, William Pluecker of Warren, Walter Riseman of Harrison and Rena Newell, a non-voting member representing the Passamaquoddy Tribe.