Democrats have a big decision to make in 2020 — either support the Republican president or a self-avowed socialist.
And some simply don’t want to be tied to a party with Bernie Sanders at the helm.
On Thursday, the Mississippi Republican party announced that eight state officials — two independents and six Democrats — have changed their party affiliation and become a member of the GOP.
“We have had a relentless focus on switching conservative Democrats over to the Republican Party,” Lucien Smith, chairman of the Mississippi GOP, told to WLBT News. “They recognize increasingly that there is only one party that represents the conservative values of our state, and that is the Republican Party.”
Smith added that others in the deep-red state will likely be switching over to Republican party in the weeks and months to come.
The former Democrats are as follows: Chancery Clerk Cindy Austin, Beat 4 Supervisor Danny Arender, Circuit Clerk Anthony Grayson, District Attorney Matt Sullivan, Tax Assessor-Collector Mary Lou Powell, and Justice Court Judge Hulon West.
The former independents are Chancery Clerk Guy Easterling and Justice Court Judge Bobby Wayne Mooney.
“There are conservatives Democrats all across the state of Mississippi, and there was once upon a time when the conservative Democrats controlled this state,” Sullivan said. “It’s a new day in Mississippi, and I believe the Republican Party is growing, and there’s a place in the Republican Party for people like me.”
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves pointed out that the stark difference between President Donald Trump and Sen. Sanders was likely the tipping point by which Democrats decided to leave their party.
“We are in a scenario in this country where you can choose to be a member of the party led by Donald J. Trump, or you can choose to be a member of the socialist Democratic party led by Bernie Sanders,” he said.
Late last year, New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew switched from Democrat to Republican.