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Recently reelected Maine state lawmaker leaves Republican Party

A Republican state lawmaker in Maine announced Thursday that he would be leaving the GOP to become an independent.

State Rep. Don Marean confirmed his decision to the Bangor Daily News, but did not offer an explanation for his choice to leave the Republican Party.

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Marean, who was reelected to his position last year, told the paper that he wouldn't comment further on his decision “out of respect” for House Republicans.

“We were informed by the Speaker’s office yesterday that he has unenrolled,” John Bott, spokesman for House Republicans, told the news outlet Friday. “We do not have any details on his decision.”

Marean’s decision to become an independent reduces the GOP’s minority in the Maine statehouse to 56 and makes him the state’s seventh independent in the chamber. Marean is term-limited and won’t be running in 2020.

Democrats took the majority in the Maine House of Representatives in last year's election, winning 89 seats of the 151-member chamber, the paper noted.