Similar to the months following the 1994 elections, where a GOP electoral wave was followed by numerous defections by Democrats, more Democratic officials in Southern states announced their decisions to join the Republican Party since our last post on this subject.
Many of these recent defections have shifted political power across the South, most notably in three states: Alabama (House GOP super-majority), Georgia (five seats shy of super-majority), and Louisiana (GOP leads in the House, and Democrat lead in Senate down to two seats).
- Sen. Tim Golden of Valdosta crossed over. Golden was just elected to his eleventh term in the Georgia Senate.
- State Rep. Doug McKillip of Athens, the second highest-ranking Democrat in the Georgia House, crossed over, putting the GOP five seats short of a super-majority in that chamber. He is the seventh Democratic legislator in Georgia to cross over since last month.
- Two African-American Democrats also crossed over: Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell and former state executive committee member Andre Walker, a past Democratic super-delegate.
- A state Representative is planning to defect to the GOP, just after several other switches gave Republicans a one-seat majority in the Louisiana House.
- Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey crossed over, leaving the Democrats with two state elected officials.
- Democratic legislative ranks are reportedly splitting with more conservative Democrats pledging to join ranks with Republicans to seat a conservative State House Speaker. Some of these Democrats are expected to cross over to the GOP. A twelve-seat gain would put the GOP in control of the House, while the outcome of two special elections could turn the Senate, which Dems hold by two seats, to GOP control.
... stay tuned as we keep our eyes out for more bailouts from the fast-dwindling Democratic ranks in the South.
As a closing note, we've been made aware that several Democrats, including three legislators, are considering joining GOP ranks here in South Carolina, and we'll be sure to pass that information along when we know decisions have been made.