In a stunning development, a Democrat representative is walking away from his own party and becoming a Republican.
Democrat Rep. Ryan Guillen, who was elected in 2003 in Texas, announced he’s leaving the Democratic Party.
Guillen has rejected his party’s position on several key issues.
“Many of us are waking up to the fact that the values in Washington D.C. are not our values in South Texas,” Guillen said.
Guillen has disagreed with Democrats on abortion as well as gun rights.
He backed the Texas Heartbeat Act, which was meant to protect life inside the womb once a heartbeat is detected.
“I’m proud to continue voting the way I have and not doing so against my party,” he continued.
He supported a bill for constitutional carry in Texas, which most Democrats opposed.
“After much consideration and prayer with my family, I feel that my fiscally conservative, pro-business, and pro-life values are no longer in-step with the Democrat Party of today,” he explained.
“I am proudly running as a Republican to represent House District 31,” the former Democrat said.
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According to The Texan, “For four out of the last five legislative sessions, Guillen was rated the most conservative Democrat in the Texas House — in the fifth, he was ranked the second-most conservative.”
His departure from the Democratic Party was celebrated by both state and national Republicans.
“Rep. Guillen has been a friend for many years, and I am proud to welcome him to the Republican Party,” Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi said in a statement.
“Following this month’s Republican victories in Virginia and in Texas HD 118, this is yet another example of how the increasing extremism of the Democratic Party has alienated Texans who care about smaller government, strong families, safe communities, and the protection of the unborn,” Rinaldi continued, “Those people have a home in our party.”
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel pointed to Guillen’s switch as a prelude to large GOP gains in the 2022 midterm elections.
“The Republican Party is the party of faith, freedom, and opportunity, and we will continue to stand for these ideals in Texas and across the country,” she said, “With trailblazers like Representative Guillen, we will continue to make gains in South Texas and grow the party in our way to victories up and down the ballot in 2022.”
One of Guillen’s former colleagues blamed the move on redistricting.
Texas House Democratic Caucus Chairman Chris Turner said, “Republicans cynically gutted Rep. Guillen’s district in the redistricting process, showing complete disrespect for both him and his constituents.”