Louisiana Republican lawmakers gained a significant upper hand after a longtime Democrat switched parties.
State Rep. Francis Thompson, who has served as a Democrat from northeast Louisiana for decades, changed his party registration on Friday, according to CBS affiliate WAFB.
With this party swap, Republicans now have the numbers in both chambers of the state legislature to muster a two-thirds supermajority to override vetoes by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
This is the first time Republican lawmakers in the state have had such an advantage in Louisiana’s roughly 210-year history, per Newsweek.
Thompson, 81, insisted that “nothing” has changed in his values, though he acknowledged having a “conservative” voting record.
This morning Rep. Francis Thompson is switching from Democrat to Republican giving the R’s a supermajority in the House #lalege #lagov pic.twitter.com/w4Hg1aMPat
— Shannon Heckt (@ShannonHeckt) March 17, 2023
“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 added in a statement.
As noted by the Associated Press, Thompson joined Republicans in recent years to call for a veto override session.
That includes a failed effort in 2021 to override a veto of legislation that would have prevented biological male athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports. However, the governor did not go through with another veto to stop a transgender sports ban last year.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DAILY WIRE APP
Democrats in Louisiana, which has trended more red in recent decades, shrugged at the news of Thompson changing his party affiliation.
“While Rep. Thompson’s decision is disappointing, it is not surprising. He already caucused with Republicans,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Sam Jenkins said in a statement.