Begay Leaves Democratic Party Citing Better Opportunities for District’s Education, Infrastructure, Employment Issues as Member of GOP
PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party enthusiastically welcomed Senator Carlyle Begay, who was elected as a Democrat to represent Arizona’s Legislative District 7 but today switched his party registration to Republican. He also joined the GOP caucus in the Arizona Senate, at an event held today at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. District 7 is the nation’s largest state legislative district by area and includes most of Northeastern Arizona including eight different tribal lands.
“My relationship with Senator Begay has grown over the years and I am so proud to see him join with our party so he can better serve the people of his district,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Republicans have proven to have a much more successful approach on the issues important to not just his district but all of Arizona, like education and economic prosperity, and I’m looking forward to working with him to improve opportunities for his community.”
Begay was appointed to the Arizona Senate in 2013 and was reelected in 2014. He released a brief video documenting his upbringing as a Navajo (or Diné) and his lifelong political journey and strong desire to better serve the constituents of his district.
(I have started uploading videos from The Daily Caller and other places [Breitbart and PolitiChicks for example] because there seems to be a wave of videos that just start playing on their own and your volume is up loud and you wake your spouse? Come-on! I have made this “blogger friendly” so the user can choose to play it. Choice. This “friendliness” should behoove the video’er — if that’s a word? — to follow suit in order that they can get their site/URL known more widely because it can be embedded without startling the be-Jesus out of someone.)
I will include my message to him on FaceBook, as, it will offer people here some resources as well:
Sen. Guillory. I loved your video. I would be honored if you read (no need to comment on it) my shorter post about my recent trip to Hawaii with the wife. I was only in one political discussion during the entire 14-day cruise, and I document the exchange in the hot-tub:
He’s not just any Democrat. This is a guy who gave a seconding speech for O’s nomination four years ago at the convention and was the southern regional co-chair for the DCCC. With those credentials, the PR value to the GOP of having him dump his old party to become a Republican would be huge under any circumstances. Factor in the symbolism of a young black Harvard-trained pol abandoning the Dems in the middle of Obama’s reelection campaign and you’ve got a GOP folk hero in the making. From his blog post announcing his party switch:
A sheriff in central Mississippi said Wednesday he’s switching from Democrat to Republican because of President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage.
During a news conference at the state Republican headquarters in Jackson, Leake County Sheriff Greg Waggoner said he has run as a Democrat since 1999 but voted for Republicans for president and governor. He said he has nothing against local Democrats, but he decided to switch parties after Obama and Vice President Joe Biden recently said, within days of each other, that they support same-sex marriage.
“In the past few years, as we have heard and as we know, the Democratic Party has taken an extreme left turn – and the things that have come out the last few weeks when our national Democratic leaders have endorsed same-sex marriage,” Waggoner said. “I’m Christian, and my first allegiance is to Jesus Christ. There comes a time when you have to stand on what you believe in. And I can no longer have any connection with the Democratic Party if that’s the route that they’re going to take.”
Several people at the news conference said “Amen” as Waggoner spoke. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann were among those who applauded the sheriff’s statement.
Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, who’s seeking re-election this year, said after the news conference that he agreed with Waggoner’s criticism of Obama on same-sex marriage.
“I think that the sheriff today represented grass-roots America in what he said,” Wicker said.
State Republican Party chairman Joe Nosef announced during the news conference that Waggoner and Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight are among seven local officials switching to the GOP. The others were a Justice Court judge and a constable from Jones County and the coroner, a supervisor and a Justice Court judge from Leake County.
The defection of a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to the Republican Party is raising some eyebrows.
Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.
During a press conference last week, Nardelli cited President Obama’s recent announcement in support of gay marriage as a central reason for her defection, endorsed Mitt Romney for president and changed her party registration to Republican, The Altoona Mirror reported.
“As the Democratic Party has taken the stand for same-sex marriage, then I must make a stand on my faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. God’s principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them,” Nardelli, a pro-life Democrat for more than 40 years, said at the Blair County Courthouse.
In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Nardelli claimed to not know any Republicans. She asserted, like the party-switching Ronald Reagan in 1962, that the Democratic Party had strayed from values with which she could agree.
“I thought I could make a difference to change our party. It didn’t work,” she said. “I noticed that it’s been going more and more to the left. This is not my father’s party. I did not leave the party; the party left me.”
State Rep. Allan Ritter, D-Nederland, is telling associates he will switch to the Republican Party next week. Ritter was not immediately available for comment.
That would give the GOP a 100-member supermajority in the Legislature’s lower chamber — a number that allows them to pass constitutional amendments and other matters without seeking support from the Democrats.