A Wave of Democratic State Lawmakers Defecting to GOP

At least 13 have jumped ship so far, and there could be more
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2010 8:34 AM CST
A Wave of Democratic State Lawmakers Defecting to GOP
In this Jan. 10, 2007 file photo, Rep. Alan Powell reads at his seat in the House in Atlanta. Powell, who served for two decades as a Democrat, joined the Republican caucus in Nov. 2010.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Democratic losses didn’t stop on Election Day: Since Nov. 2, at least 13 state lawmakers have switched over to the Republican party, the AP reports. Many of the defections took place in the South, where dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party is high. In some states, like Alabama and Louisiana, the party switches gave control of the House to Republicans. Georgia Rep. Alan Powell, who switched to the GOP this month, said that the GOP sweep of his state brought “an effective end, at least for the foreseeable future, to the two-party system in state government.”

Some lawmakers say that the Democratic party is becoming too liberal; others just wanted a chance to stay in the game—which meant turning to the Republicans. The party shifts come on the tail of an already huge wave in the statehouses: The GOP picked up 690 state legislature seats, the largest shift since 1966, and now controls both chambers of the legislature and the governorship in 21 states. That means the party will have a huge advantage when it comes to redrawing political maps in the wake of the latest US census. Click here for more on why this matters.
(More state legislature stories.)

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