Lawmaker switches parties, cites Dems' support of gay marriage - CBS46 News

Lawmaker switches parties, cites Dems' support of gay marriage

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ROME, GA (CBS46) -

State Rep. Rick Crawford of the 16th House District said he plans to switch from Democrat to Republican following the election. The absentee ballots have already been printed and mailed out, meaning his name appears as the Democratic candidate, all but assuring a win in that district for the Republican party.

"I really don't know how this is going to play, and that's not my motivation. I'll let others worry about that," said Crawford, who has represented the 16th district since 2007.

He said in an interview Wednesday that the party has moved further left in recent years, alienating people like himself who hold some conservative beliefs.

"I'm pro life, I'm pro traditional marriage, I'm pro gun, and once upon a time folks with those beliefs had a very comfortable place in the Democratic party," Crawford said.

He said the tipping point for him came during the Democratic National Convention, when the party made official its support of same sex marriage.

"I am absolutely, positively opposed to same sex marriage," he said.

After that, he began contacting senior officials at the Georgia State Capitol to declare his desire to leave the party following the election.

State Democratic leaders are furious over the move, and assert that Crawford is trying to pull back into an election race in which his numbers may be slipping to the Republican candidate, Trey Kelley.

State Republican officials said they have no plans to alter their plans for the election based on Crawford's decision.

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