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Long-Time State Democrat Switches Parties to Give Republicans Supermajority

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Rep. Francis Thompson has served as a Democrat lawmaker in Louisiana for nearly 50 years.

The 81-year-old switched his party registration to Republican on Friday.

“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 said in a statement.

“There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions,” he added.

“My choice to move to the Republican Party is one that best represents my views and those of the constituents who elected me to serve them.”

Thompson’s party switch gives Louisiana Republicans a supermajority in the state house.

According to WDSU, the Louisiana GOP can override any veto from the state’s Democrat governor if all Republicans vote on party lines.

State Rep. Francis Thompson from the Monroe area switched parties from Democrat to Republican on Friday.

He made the move official in Baton Rouge.

Thompson has been in both the State House and Senate for 50 years.

He is the longest serving member. His switch gives the GOP 70 members.

If all Republicans vote on party lines, that would give them a super majority, the power to override any veto by the governor.

The GOP already has a super majority in the 39 seat Senate.

WAFB noted:

In 2021, Thompson joined Republicans as the only Democrat to call for the state’s first veto override session, under the state’s 50-year-old constitution, with the hopes of overturning Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ rejection of bills that would ban transgender girls from school sports and remove restrictions on concealed handguns.

“While Rep. Thompson’s decision (to switch parties) is disappointing, it is not surprising. He already caucused with Republicans,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Sam Jenkins said in a written statement Friday.

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