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. Change In America

    Another scary demoncrate and watch he lose his seat.

    December 22, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Beverly in NC

    I guess he really wants to be defeated. What a stupid move. The Republican Party of NO, Obstructionism, Delays, Negativity, Lies, Hate, Fear, and Elitism is going to find themselves defeated in a landslide come 2010.

    Republicans did NOTHING all year but work against the People and call for our failure. They are traitors to America and we will rid Congress of even more ot these do-nothings in 2010 and 2012. All their negative and nasty behavior had backfiired on them and no intelligent American will even consider voting for the Republicans who did nothing but work for our failure and to extend our misery.

    December 22, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. SCOTT

    Sounds like someone jumpin on a bandwagon to save his arse in the next election. Politics as usual.

    December 22, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Sean from Marin

    If you could take the rest of the south with you we'd all be better off. In fact, start the session talk again. We'd be more than happy to let you go this time around.

    December 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Robert

    Talk about someone who goes where the wind blows.

    December 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Carl Justus

    Let us hope that he gets beat running as a republican. If he won as democrat in a republican district they must like him to keep the voice of the opposite side in tact.

    Being a republican in a republican district does little for the people of the district. It does not bring in democratic money for what is the use and it does not bring in any republican money for they will win regardless.

    December 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. MsDp

    Hmm, sounds like he is a republician at heart. Good ridden and we wish you well. He is doing the right thing, because he has not supported the Democratic agenda anyway.-Good Bye Griffith, Good Bye.

    December 22, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Bryan

    I don't really care about the party but anyone who is against Cap and Tax, Porkulous and Obamacare is OK in my book.

    December 22, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    Representative Griffith is a smart man. The conduct of the Democratic party since January does not make anyone proud of our system of federal government or it's effectiveness.

    December 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. LAW

    The last thing the Republican Party needs is people who are so obscure in their beliefs and understanding that they can switch parties as if it is a choice between a Big Mac or a Whopper. This is why the Republican party has no principles and no grit now–after Reagan and new politicians later came along who wanted to win, they said: "Yeah, that's cool..I'll be a Republican since they are getting the most votes."

    Then came Clinton who won, and there followed a new crop of Democrats who took that label to win.

    If you are a Democrat who by definition leans left, then have the guts and integrity to stay there even if you lose.

    If you are a Republican who by definition leans right, same goes for you.

    If you have no principles and no understanding of why principles matter, then get out of the way.

    December 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Lynn

    If he had a child born with a life-long illness, wonder if he'd be so quick to vote against the health care legislation and coverage for preexisting conditions. What a group of selfish people the GOP is.

    December 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. ian in Boulder CO

    Since Rep. Parker Griffith votes with Republicans on all important issues, his decision to switch parties can only be applauded. Now, why did he run as a Democrat in the first place, in Alabama no less?! Anyone knows?

    December 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. MVDCT

    Hopefully that will the first of many defections.

    December 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Tom

    No surprise. He's been acting like a republican for years.

    December 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. chelle

    Shouldn't we be hearing calls of traitor from the Repubs? Or is that only when one of their own crosses over to the "dark side"?

    December 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Matt from Richmond VA

    Painfully obivious this man is truly a politician concerned with his own political career and absolutely nothing else.
    I'm sure he will try to make it out to be about differences and blah, blah.
    No sir you only want to get re-elected period end of story.
    Being a selfish jerk you should fit right in with the Repugs and Tea Baggers.

    December 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Tammy

    Not to wish anyone harm - how many Congresspeople and Senators and their families would survive without their fat health packages? I'm all right, Jack, the hell with everyone else

    December 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Excellent! Another democrat jumping off the USS Obama before it hits the 2010 mid-term iceberg. Hope you enjoyed your 2 years in power, liberals. It's been real, but it hasn't been real nice.

    December 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This isn't a shock. I can't believe that democrats even get elected in the south.

    December 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. JWK

    Well, if you're going to switch parties this is the best way to do it. Switch before and then run rather than switching after the election like some do.

    December 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Pat F

    I don't blame him. The Dumocrats are going to be beaten like a drum in 2010.

    December 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. steveo

    who? why?? do we care???
    good riddance. and take judas lieberman with you

    December 22, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Ken, AZ

    That is what he should do if he can't support the party's platform. Good riddance.

    December 22, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |

    How is this bad news for The President?.. from this Article he was already a RepubliCON to begin with. He voted against everything Democratic, so we don't need him.

    December 22, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Iowa Voter

    This should wake up the Democrats before they pass their health reform bill. The only ones that will see immediate benefits will be the Insurance Companies. Myself, I decided a few months ago that the Democratic Party was going in the wrong direction. I have since switched to the Independent Party as has a number of other voters.

    December 22, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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