- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Maine lawmaker who ditched the Democratic Party in April has rejoined the House Democratic Caucus.

Rep. Stanley Short Jr. of Pittsfield said he believes that his re-enrollment in the Democratic Party is in his constituents’ best interests. The lifelong Democrat said he may not agree with the party on all issues, but he says he can help to shape caucus strategy through membership in the party.

Short originally said he believed the Democratic Party had “lost its focus” in that the middle class.

House Speaker Mark Eves said he welcomes Short back to the fold. He called him a strong voice for working people, families and seniors “regardless of affiliation.”

The House now has 78 Democrats, 67 Republicans and four independent or unenrolled members. Two seats are vacant.

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