Texas Judge Switches to Democratic Party: “The Republican Party Left Me”

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The Republican Party continues to push moderate voters away, but now even it's own elected officials are giving up on the fight with the extremist in their ranks. Today Bexar County Court at Law Judge Carlo Key switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party emphasizing that the, “Republican party has been at war with itself,” and that ultimately, “I have not left the Republican Party, it left me.”

His life experience of being born into poverty and pulling himself up by the bootstraps is a true Texas success story. Republicans love this narrative, but often leave out the details which make it all possible. Judge Key had to start working hard at an early age due to the circumstance of his father's disability, but because of public assistance, and a strong public education he was able to rise above those natural hardships to become a small business owner and Judge.

Among his reasons for the switch he pointed to the government shutdown led by Congressional Republicans that hurt furloughed workers and their families, and the, “vain attempt to repeal [the Affordable Care Act]a law that would provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country.”

This is bad news for Republicans on a number of fronts. They lose a promising young politician and a prominent Hispanic from their ranks in one felled swoop. It also signals to other moderates that the tide is turning and the time is now.

Incase they need more encouragement Judge Key extended an open invitation, “I can only hope that more people of principle will follow.”

Click below the jump to see Judge Key's video and who is welcoming him to the Party…

“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry…I can't be a member of a party in which hate-speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them.” –Judge Key

Texas Democrats looking to expand their base and the electorate in general are rolling out the welcome matt for Key:

“I'm not surprised. Republican state leaders in Texas have moved so far out of the mainstream. They have become so divisive that fair-minded Texans are turning away. Judge Key is a prominent and respected public official, so his actions appropriately draw attention, but every day I hear from people who formerly supported Republican candidates, but now won't do it.”

Matt Angle, Lone Star Project

Look at the vote last week in Congress — where every single Texas Republican voted in favor of keeping the government closed and keeping Texans out of work without a paycheck. It was a vote of ideology over pragmatism and principle.

This is exactly the problem with Texas Republicans, who care more about doing what's best for them instead of what's best for us. That's why we're fighting so hard to take the partisans in power out of office in Texas and in D.C.

Gilberto Hinojosa, TDP Chair

We want to personally welcome Judge Key to the Democratic Party and recognize his courage in making this decision. Judge Key has proven to be a fair and principled judge and we know that this decision was made with much thought and deliberation.

Today's decision by Judge Key is more proof that the Texas GOP is a party in decline. It's not surprising since the Republican Party has been taken over by radicals, driving more and more folks to believe that Texas Democrats have the right approach to governing.

Senator Ted Cruz put hundreds of thousands of folks and businesses out of work by forcing a government shutdown; Lt. Governor David Dewhurst made promises to take away educational benefits from Latinos; Governor Perry vetoed Texas' law that would have ensured women receive equal pay for equal work in our state.

Texas Democrats work every day to put Texans first and create the opportunities that allow folks from every walk of life to pursue their American Dreams.

Congressman Joaquin Castro and State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer

See Judge Key's announcement below and visit his website here.

You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.


About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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