Nine Texas Democrats switch to the GOP
The not at all slow death of the Texas Democratic Party continues. I've just gotten word via press release that nine local Democrats up in northeast Texas just switched parties to become Republicans. From the release:
In what is believed to be one of the largest number of officeholders to change party affiliation in Texas, Lamar County GOP Chairman John Kruntorad and State Representative Erwin Cain announced today that 9 local elected Democrats have joined the Republican Party. This announcement follows unprecedented election gains by the GOP in 2008 and 2010 as Northeast Texans increasingly identify with the conservative platform of the Republican Party.
Those joining the Republican Party include District Attorney Gary Young; Pct. 1 County Commissioner Lawrence Mallone; Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace (JP) Don Denison; Pct. 3 JP Tim Risinger; Pct. 4 JP Ken Ruthart; Pct. 5, Place 1 JP Cindy Ruthart; Pct. 1 Constable Madaline Chance; Pct. 3 Constable Larry Cope; and Pct. 5 Constable Gene Hobbs.
They join a few dozen who switched from D to R in Texas leading up to the 2010 elections, and the two state Reps. who switched parties after the elections (bringing the total of state Reps. switching from D to R, to three). And today's group of switchers is jumping ship in an area that has been considered yellow dog Democrat for generations.
Update: Jim Geraghty - "To the credit of Texas Democrats, they still have dozens and dozens of local lawmakers who haven’t flipped parties yet."
Circle that last word.
Update: DKos blogger asks "Can Democrats rebuild in Texas?" Answer: Not when they're still losing offices nearly three months after the last election.
Update: In case you're wondering where Lamar County is, it's up in Texas' northeast corner. The county seat is Paris, TX which, yes, has its own version of the Eiffel Tower. And has a movie named after it.