The Louisiana Republican Party announced in a press release on Friday state representative Francis Thompson, first elected as a Democrat in 1975, has decided to switch parties.
His switch is no surprise but, telling. It gives Republicans a 70-vote supermajority that allows the Republicans to override a veto by the state's controversial Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards.
"Today marks a pivotal moment for the Louisiana Legislature, as it has reached a supermajority for the first time in modern history," House Majority Leader Blake Miguez said in a news conference.
"Representative Thompson's decision to change parties after 48 years sheds light on the evolving nature of political affiliations and highlights the importance of this milestone for the legislature."
"Let me clear—Nothing has changed," Thompson said in a statement following the switch.
"There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions. My conservative voting record over my years in the Legislature speaks for itself,” added Thompson.
"The push the past several years by Democratic leadership on both the national and state level to support certain issues does not align with those values and principles that are a part of my Christian life," Thompson further added.
Thompson has been caucusing and voting with Republicans.
In 2022, Thompson signed onto Republican legislation exempting religious institutions from state public health orders that Edwards eventually vetoed, as well as a concealed carry bill that was primarily supported by Republicans after years of failures.
Thompson represents a rural area outside Monroe.
Thompson's change in party affiliation is a show of the winds changing as it adds to a list of 18 states nationwide with a veto-proof majority in their state legislatures.
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