AUBURN — Androscoggin County Commissioner Jonathan LaBonte announced Friday night that he enrolled in the Republican Party earlier in the day.
"After assessing the positions of both parties in 2008, before I pulled papers to run for county commissioner, I chose to run without party affiliation," the 29-year-old Auburn resident wrote in an e-mail to the Sun Journal late Friday night. "As time has progressed, however, I have concluded that the larger challenges facing Maine and our nation require engagement in the two-party system.
"While I am not in agreement with some policy positions and political approaches of the Republican Party, I find myself more closely aligned with their principles of individual responsibility and fiscal conservatism," he said.
After going to Auburn Hall around noon to register as a Republican, LaBonte traveled to the convention center at the Portland Expo and attended some of the Maine Republican State Convention events.
From there, he went to the Androscoggin County Caucus at King Elementary School on Brighton Avenue. During the portion of the caucus that calls for the election of Republican State Committee members, LaBonte's name was placed into nomination and he was elected unanimously.