Republicans have gained a supermajority in each homes of the Louisiana legislature after legendary Delhi MP Francis Thompson modified his celebration registration after almost 50 years of voting service as a Democrat.
Thompson’s change of celebration offers Republicans 70 votes within the Home of Representatives, the quantity wanted to override a veto by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. The GOP already had an excellent majority within the Senate.
Thompson, 81, is the longest-serving legislator in Louisiana historical past, having gained the primary state legislature election in 1974.
The Louisiana Republican Get together formally celebrated the flip at a press convention Friday.
“It’s a fortunate day, but it surely’s not a choice made in a day,” Thompson mentioned in an interview with USA At the moment Community. “I struggled with that and thought of it for greater than a yr when it turned clear that the Republican Get together higher represents my values and philosophy immediately.”
State MP Francis Thompson, D-Delhi
Thompson, who represents District 19 in northeast Louisiana, was among the many final of the Blue Canine Democrats, extra conservative members of the celebration who’ve to date resisted altering his affiliation.
In a press release, Thompson mentioned: “Let me be clear: nothing has modified. There are values and rules that I firmly maintain and that information my choices. … My determination to maneuver to the Republican Get together is one which greatest displays my views and people of the constituents who elected me to serve them.”
The common session of the legislature begins on April tenth.
“At the moment is a pivotal second for the Louisiana Legislature because it achieved an absolute majority for the primary time in our state’s historical past,” mentioned Republican Erath Assemblyman Blake Miguez.
“For Francis to hitch our ranks is additional proof of Louisiana’s nostalgia for conservative values and a rejection of Washington’s liberal insurance policies,” mentioned Louis Gurvich of the Louisiana Republican Get together.
Sam Jenkins, chairman of the Shreveport Home Democratic caucus, mentioned the celebration change was only a formality for Thompson, who Jenkins mentioned typically voted with Republicans.
The story goes on
“Rep. Thompson’s determination, whereas disappointing, isn’t a surprise,” Jenkins mentioned. “Apart from that, his determination doesn’t change our focus. Households in Louisiana are our precedence – not partisan politics.
“We’re assured that voters will share our values and vote extra Democrats in October to hitch the struggle to lift wages, enhance schooling and maintain insurance coverage corporations accountable.”
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Community of Louisiana. Comply with him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.
This text initially appeared on Monroe Information-Star: Republicans win supermajority in Louisiana legislature by no vote