In The News

State Lawmakers Across The Country Are Ditching The Democrats For The GOP: REPORT

  • Democratic legislators in several states have been switching parties to become Republicans, which has led to significant political realignments in those states.
  • In North Carolina and Louisiana, party switching has given Republicans two-thirds majorities in both houses of those states’ legislatures, while West Virginia’s House of Delegates is nearly 90% Republican.
  • “The modern-day Democratic Party has become unrecognizable to me,” said Republican state Rep. Tricia Cotham of North Carolina, who switched from the Democratic Party, at a press conference in April.

In multiple states, Democratic legislators are switching their parties to become Republicans, citing the Democratic Party’s left-wing shift and the difficulty to accomplish policy goals, according to several reports.

Since 1994, 173 state legislators have changed their parties mid-term, of which 83 were Democrats who became Republicans, while just 23 shifted the other way, according to research by Politico. Since 2022, at least three legislators in West Virginia, North Carolina and Louisiana, who were elected as Democrats, have joined the Republican benches with significant political consequences.

In West Virginia, first-term state Del. Elliott Pritt became a Republican, joining the House of Delegates’ 88-seat Republican supermajority in a 100-member chamber, according to an announcement reported by West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Pritt attributed his decision to the Democratic Party’s powerlessness in the state legislature and frustration with repeated failures by the party to enact policy.

“Even if I were to run again and win, I would look at another term of never getting another bill passed, never getting anything done. For the time I’m going to be there, I’m not going to sit there and be a lame duck and not get anything,” said Pritt in comments reported by Politico. Pritt was preceded by former state Del. Mick Bates, who switched his party affiliation to Republican during the last session of the legislature, in 2021.

It has been reported that Pritt may soon be joined in the Republican caucus by a senior Democrat, state Del. Doug Skaff, Jr., who resigned as the House Minority Leader on Aug. 2 amid speculation that he would change parties, according to West Virginia Watch. “I lean more conservative, more moderate. I’ve always been that way,” Skaff told the Watch, while denying that he intended to switch parties but adding that “it’s hard being in a super minority when things just fly through.”

In 2017, West Virginia’s incumbent Governor, Jim Justice, switched parties and became a Republican, which he announced at a rally with then-President Donald Trump in the state. Justice is currently running for the U.S. Senate to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who himself has been encouraged to leave the Democratic Party.

North Carolina’s politics were upended on Apr. 5 when state Rep. Tricia Cotham, elected as a Democrat to represent parts of the Charlotte metropolitan area, switched parties to become a Republican. Her switch gave the GOP a two-thirds majority in both houses of the North Carolina state legislature, enabling it to pass conservative legislation over the veto of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

“The modern-day Democratic Party has become unrecognizable to me and to so many others throughout this state and this country,” Cotham said at a press conference announcing her decision. The North Carolina Democratic Party Chair, Anderson Clayton, called Cotham’s switch “deceit of the highest order.”

Since Cotham’s switch, North Carolina has enacted a bill restricting the abortion of pregnancies to within 12 weeks of conception, with Cotham casting the decisive vote to override Cooper’s veto. She has also voted for a bill that bans transgender medical procedures in the state, whose veto by Cooper will also likely be overridden.

Similarly, in Louisiana, Republicans earned a two-thirds majority in both state houses for the first time after the defection of state Rep. Francis Thompson on March 17 — enabling them to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, according to WAFB News. Thompson, aged 81, was first elected in 1975 and spent 48 years as an elected Democrat before becoming a Republican.

“The push the past several years by Democratic leadership on both the national and state level to support certain issues does not align with those values and principles that are part of my Christian life,” Thompson told WAFB News. He was followed by state Rep. Jeremy LaCombe, another elected Democrat who became a Republican on April 10.

Currently, there are 7,386 state legislators across all 50 states, excluding the District of Columbia and territories of the United States. Of them, 4,058 are Republicans, accounting for nearly 55% of the total, according to Ballotpedia.

The Democratic National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

Support Conservative Daily News with a small donation via Paypal or credit card that will go towards supporting the news and commentary you've come to appreciate.

Related Articles

Back to top button