Two Prominent Black Georgia Democrats Bolt Party to Join GOP

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Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, a former national president of the College Democrats of America, was a 2004 delegate to the Democratic National Convention. (Hall County)

Two prominent black Georgia democrats announced they would bolt the party to join the GOP. The former democrats said their party had become too liberal.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported:

Two African-American Democrats on Thursday announced that they were joining the Republican Party.

Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell and former state executive committee member Andre Walker said the Democratic Party had grown too liberal and they are finding a new home with the Republicans.

The state GOP touted Bell as the first black elected official in modern times in Georgia to leave the Democrats for the GOP. But that distinction belongs to former state Sen. Roy Allen of Savannah, who joined the Republican Party in 1994.

Bell was introduced as a Republican at a news conference Thursday at party headquarters.

“My district is pretty Republican as it is,” Bell told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “My wife and I have been thinking about this for six months.”

He said they are both conservative “and the Democratic Party has been our home. The party had conservatives and liberals both in the party. [But] this election showed us the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is very, very strong. If your’e a conservative, it became more difficult to be in the Democratic Party.

Bell, a former national president of the College Democrats of America, was a 2004 delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Bell has two more years left on his term and said he was switching now to make his intentions known. He said he plans to run for re-election as a Republican.

Walker, who runs the political blog Georgia Unfiltered, resigned from the Democratic Party’s state executive committee. Walker was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention and is a former president of College Democrats of Georgia.

Seven Democratic politicians have now jumped ship and switched parties. On Thursday, Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell became the seventh Democrat to make the switch to the GOP.

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