Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Democrat Parker Griffith Is Switching to Republican Party

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size

Rep. Parker Griffith, a conservative Democratic Congressman from northern Alabama, announced Tuesday that he is switching from the Democratic to the Republican party.

The Congressman explained his "difficult decision" at a press conference in his Huntsville district office.

"I am pro-business, pro-life, pro-second amendment and have worked hard to support our space and defense programs and represent our Alabama values," he said. "However, as the 111th Congress has progressed, I have become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies of the Democratic leadership are not good for Alabama or our nation." He added that he needs to "stand with a party more in tune with my beliefs and convictions."

Griffith, who is in his first term in the House, has one of the most conservative voting records of any Democrat in Washington. He has voted against several of the Democrats' signature issues, including the $787 billion stimulus, the controversial "Cap and Trade" energy bill, and health care reform legislation. In August, he said he would not vote for Nancy Pelosi to be speaker again, telling the Hunstville Times, "I would not vote for her. Someone that divisive and that polarizing cannot bring us together."

National Republicans had targeted Griffith's 5th Congressional District as a possible Republican pick-up this year, but had also encouraged him to consider becoming a Republican. Sen. John McCain won the district in 2008 with 61 percent of the vote.

Griffith, who is an oncologist, used his announcement to criticize the Democratic agenda as "focused on massive spending, tax increases and bailouts." Afterward, he blasted the health bill now moving through Congress. "We're watching them pass a health care bill that two-thirds of America is saying don't pass it, leave it alone, start over again," he said. "And they're completely ignoring the American people at their own risk."

The news of the party-switch came as a blow to House Democrats, who have recently had several high-profile conservative members announce they will retire in 2010 rather than face reelection, including Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee and Dennis Moore of Kansas. Both men were favored to win reelection, even though their districts, like Griffith's, were in won by McCain in 2008.

At the end of his remarks Tuesday, Griffith acknowledged that "there will be those who do not support my decision." Indeed, moments before, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, called on him to return campaign donations from Democrats who helped elect him in 2008. Van Hollen said Griffith has "a duty and a responsibility" to return "financial resources invested in him."

In response to a reporter's question following his press conference, Griffith lamented the "far, far drift to the left" of the Democratic party in Washington, saying, "There is no room for a pro-life, pro-second amendment, conservative businessman."

He also said he had not told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about his decision, and has not heard from her since he made his announcement.

Filed Under: The Capitolist
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>