Maine State House Rep Don Marean leaves GOP

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Don Marean
Maine State House Representative Don Marean. Image: Saco River Community Television

Don Marean, recently elected to his fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives, announced his departure from the Republican party on Thursday.

Don Marean stays silent “out of respect”

Don Marean made his decision to leave the GOP quietly, only confirming his decision the next day via a text message to a journalist from the Bangor Daily News.

Marean gave no comment to the journalist “out of respect” for House Republicans, saying his decision should speak for itself.

House Republicans, for their part, were equally succinct in their assessment.

“We were informed by the speaker’s office yesterday that he has unenrolled,” House Republican spokesperson John Bott said. “We do not have any details on his decision.”

Marean’s move reduces the Republican caucus in the House to 56 out of 151 members.

Marean claims he will not run for office again

While Don Marean may be keeping his reasons for dropping the Maine GOP to himself, it is still possible to discern some possible motives for his decision.

Term limits will prevent Marean from seeking a fifth term in the House representing District 16. According to previous statements, he has no ambitions to run for another office.

When asked, “Are you interested in running for a different political office in the future?” for a 2018 questionnaire for Ballotpedia, Marean emphatically answered “NO” in all capital letters.

If Don Marean’s thinking has not changed, not running again means he can escape the sorts of problems Nebraska’s Laura Ebke faced when she left the Republican party for the Libertarians.

“Representing your constituency well regardless of party”

Other answers from the Ballotpedia questionnaire may help explain Marean’s decision to leave the GOP.

When asked what his top three priorities will be for the upcoming term he replied, “Healthcare, education, and broadband.” Hardly a hardline-Republican agenda.

Marean may find the current polarized political climate difficult. When asked “What characteristics or principles are most important for an elected official?” Marean answered, “Intregrity and the art of compromise while working jointly across the aisle.”

He also made it clear that he thought party labels were secondary to actions. When asked what he believed the core responsibility was for someone in elected office, he replied, “Representing your constituency well regardless of party.”

Marean may simply feel like he can accomplish more for his constituents without the restraints of answering to GOP leadership. He will now sit as one of six independent members of the Maine House of Representatives.

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