Today marks another historic day in Georgia politics. Shortly, the Georgia Republican Party will be introducing the latest party switch: Commissioner Ashley Bell of Hall County. Commissioner Bell will be the first elected African-American to change from the Democratic Party to Republican Party in the state of Georgia. He was also the former national president of the College Democrats, a member of the Executive Committee for the Democratic National Committee, and a superdelegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
This is a tremendous shift in politics, but it’s not all that surprising. Commissioner Bell is a young conservative (30 years old) and could no longer find a home in the Democratic Party. I know a lot of people around me used to vote straight-ticket Democrat, but now they are more inclined to vote Republican. The number of conservative Democrats are dwindling at a very quick pace.
Commissioner Bell, I’d like to welcome you to our team. I look forward to working with you in the future.
Read the full press release below the fold:
Atlanta—Ashley Bell, former National President for the College Democrats of America, 2004 superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention and Hall County Commissioner, will join the Republican Party tomorrow.
Bell is the first African-American elected official to switch parties.
“I’m joining the Republican Party because I’m a conservative and simply feel more at home as a Republican,” said Commissioner Bell. “I have worked to make government more efficient and less intrusive in citizens’ lives and plan to continue those efforts as a Republican.”
Bell will make the announcement in a press conference on Thursday from the Georgia Republican Party with Georgia Republican Party Chairman Sue Everhart, state Representative Melvin Everson, Georgia Black Republican Council Chairman Michael McNeely and Rufus Montgomery.
“We are excited that Commissioner Bell will help lead the way for many other conservative African-Americans to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican Party. We welcome all conservatives with open arms,” said GAGOP Chairman Sue Everhart.
“Party affiliation should not be an issue of race or geography. Mr. Bell shares the Republican Party’s conservative values and belief in common sense solutions to the problems facing Georgia,” Everhart said. “I am pleased to welcome such a strong and visionary leader.”