Longtime Raymond resident Joseph Bruno has been named chairman of the Maine Republican Party.

Bruno was elected on Dec. 9, just three days after the new legislators were sworn in.

Bruno was encouraged to run for the chair position by members of the Republican’s state committee.

“When you have people suggesting you run and believing you can do the job, it is very encouraging,” said Bruno on his decision to run for the position. “Being chair is a new challenge and I am very excited about it.”

Bruno is not new to politics. He served as state representative for District 38 covering his hometown and the neighboring town of Windham for six legislative sessions, four of which were consecutive.

As a legislator, Bruno served on several committees, including the Rules and Business of the House Committee, the Health and Services Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee, and the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. Bruno also served as House minority leader.

Bruno graduated from the College of Pharmacy at Northeastern University and in 1998 co-founded Community Pharmacies in Maine. He is still a licensed pharmacist, and is currently chief executive officer of the pharmaceutical chain.

Bruno has not let his busy schedule distract him from the needs of his hometown. He currently serves on the Raymond Board of Selectmen, a position he will not be leaving soon, he said.

“The board of selectmen is too important for me to give up,” said Bruno.

The two-year term Bruno has just begun will be full of action, with both U.S. Senate and presidential elections coming in 2008.

“I will be concentrating on the next two years,” said Bruno. “It is going to be an exciting time.”

Bruno’s first and most important priority is bringing the Republican Party together.

“The Republican Party needs to unite, conservatives, liberals, we need to come together.” said Bruno. “That is my most daunting challenge as chair. If we don’t unite we cannot succeed.”

Maine Democratic Chairman Ben Dudley recognizes the importance of the next two years and is happy with Bruno at the top.

“I think they have elected a very capable person,” said Dudley. “I look forward to working with him.”

Raymond resident Joseph Bruno was elected Chairman of the Maine Republican Party on Dec. 9. His first order of business will be to “unite the Republican Party.”

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