December 22nd, 2009
01:23 PM ET
9 years ago

House Dem to switch to Republican Party

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Griffith is switching to the Republican Party."]Washington (CNN) - Sources confirm to CNN that Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith will announce Tuesday that he's switching parties and will run for re-election next year as a Republican.

The freshman lawmaker represents Alabama's 5th Congressional District. Griffith won his seat last year by 3 points over Republican Wayne Parker. But the district went for Republican John McCain over Barack Obama by 23 points in the presidential election.

The Republican source was familiar with the decision but didn't want to preempt the announcement later Tuesday. The story was first reported by Politico. A Democratic aide also tells CNN Griffith is holding a staff meeting Tuesday morning to inform his staff of his decision, and will make a formal announcement at 2 p.m. ET.

Griffith was one of 39 Democrats who voted against the party's health care reform bill last month. His is only one of three Democrats to have voted against the health care bill, the stimulus measure, and the cap-and-trade bill.

Griffith pledged in August he would vote against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Speaker next session.

With Griffith's switch of parties, the Democrats will hold a 257-178 advantage in the House of Representatives.

- CNN's Evan Glass and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

Filed under: Parker Griffith
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. Chris in NC

    Come on Heath. If Alabama can do it, so can North Carolina.

    December 22, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Chris

    Parker Griffith? With a name like that, I am surpirsed he wasn' t already a Republican!

    December 22, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Randy Sexton

    The PROOF will not be in his label of DEMOcrat or Republican, it will be in ACTIONS. It's never been more true than now that ACTIONS speak louder than words. We've heard the words of Prez ObeyMe, Nutcy Pelosi and Hairless Reid, among others, who have LIED, CHEATED, EXTORTED and BULLIED others into cramming bad legislation down our unwilling throats...We want people in Congress to get back to basics, SMALLer government, LESS taxation, LESS spending and MORE personal freedoms...

    December 22, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Joe in CT - not Lieberman!!!

    Remember, folks, he is running in Alabama. The last time they had a Democrat from that district was when LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with no Southern Democrat and a lot of Republican support. The Republicans then offered the Southern Democrats home in their party. Talk about a three-finger gagger!
    What if they manage to unseat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and replace her with someone who has a clue. Then will Griffith stay with the Democrats? If not, how will it feel to be the most junior member of the minority party?

    December 22, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Perusing-through


    It is called "Self-Preservation" and doing what ever it takes to stay in office. Congressman Parker Griffith knows that after winning his Republican district by 3-points in the previous race, he can only hope to win his district which is full of Tea-Baggers by putting on a Red Republican coat.

    December 22, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Danny

    He's a first-term Democrat (in name only) from ALABAMA...what would you expect? The GOP owns the Deep South and visca-versa. They were meant for each other!

    December 22, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Freeman

    I love those "open minded" liberals who chose to respond to this story by showing their bigotry and trashing the state of Alabama and the South in general

    The same state that birthed such Americans as Harper Lee, Hank Aaron, and Rosa Parks.

    Disgusting. You should be ashamed.

    December 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Shaun Landry

    Well, I guess the people who voted him in are not going to vote him back in for re-election right?


    December 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Oba - Mao

    Most of the American people will be abandoning the socialist Democrats in 2010 and 2012, and maybe for a long time. They are committing suicide with this bill and others they are supporting. According to Rasmussen Obama's disaproval numbers have shot up to 56% since he BOUGHT the 60 votes and he has an approval index of -21. The mandate last year was to fix the economy, not socialize the country. They've ignored all the polls, the town halls, the tea parties, and the NJ and VA elections. Lets see if they can ignore the election results in 11 months when the Dems are sent packing. The good news is the bill can be undone before it goes into effext in 4 yrs.

    December 22, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Mike in San Antonio

    Wow...I didn't hear the Dems all whining and complaining when Sen Arlen Specter did the same, except it was to the Democratic party. Will one of you liberal democrats please tell where exactly your hypocrisy ends?

    December 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. JoePoverty

    He'll be back. Alabama doesn't rank very high in terms of education, but even ignorant people will eventually understand that paying lower healthcare insurance premiums leaves them with more money to spend on other things like guns, TV's and BBQ. Once this goes into effect, Alabamans will be wondering why they bought in to the GOP's mis-information campaign to protect Big Insurance. Parker – You could have been a hero to the working poor of Alabama. How much did Healthsouth have to contribute to your campaign?

    December 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. gerald

    Republicans get over it you have lost! and will not win 2010 With 35 million people uninsured, No !!American should die simply because they don't have health insurance , The 35 millions is not going to volt for you ?

    December 22, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. joec

    Good Job Mr. Griffith it is much better to be part of the minority than to be part of a party that takes bribes to pass legislation on 1/6th of the nations economy on a striaght party line vote. Goodbye Sen. Nelson from Nebraska your time is almost over in the Senate.

    December 22, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Sailor Bob

    Look at all that hate from the left!
    It's in their usernames..
    Jim Jeffords anybody? His defection actually cost the Republicans the majority. Libs seemed to approve of that defection.
    I love seeing them cry now over a mere single congressman...Keep spouting your sterotypes of the south..The only bigots here are Liberals

    December 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Nathan from Atlanta

    He jumped to save his job.

    December 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. smlbusowner

    The bashing of the state of Alabama is amazing!!! FYI Madison County has more PHD's per capita then any other county in the U.S. We are educated and sick of liberals telling us what to do with our lives. Sorry that we are hard working, God fearing, family oriented people. Griffith switched parties because liberals stand for nothing but having more government run your life!!!!!

    December 22, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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