(UnitedVoice.com) – For 50 years, Francis Thompson has served in the Louisiana State Senate or House. He was the longest-serving Democrat in the state. Now, he has given the Republican Party a major win.
On Friday, March 17, Thompson changed his voter registration, switching from the Democratic Party to the GOP. The move made him the 70th conservative in the state House, giving the party a supermajority for the first time in the state’s 210-year history.
Republican lawmakers will now be able to overturn vetoes of Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. According to KPEL News, Louis Gurvich, the LAGOP chairman, called Friday “a historic day for” the party. He went on to say Thompson’s decision to join the GOP is evidence the state supports “conservative values” and wants to reject liberalism in Washington.
— Shannon Heckt (@ShannonHeckt) March 17, 2023
Sam Jenkins, the House Democratic Caucus chairman, released a statement saying the lawmaker’s decision was “disappointing” but “not surprising.” Jenkins explained Thompson “already caucused with Republicans.”
In 2021, Thompson was the only Democrat to join Republicans in trying to overturn Edwards’ vetoes on a Constitutional carry bill and another one that sought to prohibit transgender girls from participating in school sports. In 2022, he also supported a GOP effort to exempt religious organizations from public health orders issued by the state.
Newsweek reported Thompson said his voting record over the years proves he has conservative leanings. He said “nothing has changed” by his decision to switch parties because he has “values and principles” that guide his decision-making. As for why he officially joined the Republican Party, he said the Democratic Party’s positions at the state and national level don’t align with his “values and principles that are a part of [his] Christian life.”
Thompson isn’t the only lawmaker to leave the Democratic Party in recent years. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) left the party last year and registered as an Independent.
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