Alabama Blue Dog switches to the GOP

Via The Hill:

Freshman Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) on Tuesday will announce he is switching parties to become a Republican.

An Alabama Republican Party source confirmed that Griffith, a Blue Dog Democrat, will make the announcement at 1 p.m.

Sources tell The Hill that GOP lawmakers in the Alabama delegation, including Rep. Robert Aderholt, began wooing Griffith several weeks ago.

Griffith occupies one of the most conservative districts held by a Democrat. He replaced Democratic Rep. Bud Cramer (Ala.) in a seat that has stayed Democratic even as the South has trended Republican in federal elections.

Despite his vulnerable district, Griffith had yet to draw a top-flight GOP challenger. Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks and businessman Les Phillip each raised modest amounts of money for the race, with Phillip self-funding a little bit.

Griffith has bucked his party on nearly all of the items at the top of its legislative agenda.

This month he voted against the Democrats’ bills on financial regulatory reform and the estate tax, as well as the omnibus. He was one of four Democrats to oppose healthcare reform, climate change and the stimulus package. The others were Reps. Bobby Bright (Ala.), Walt Minnick (Idaho) and Gene Taylor (Miss.).

My initial reaction based on what I know so far: He’s not perfect – and in fact, some party faithful still want to see challenges to him next year in the primary, but on the domestic front at least, he sounds good enough to me. Welcome to the party, sir.

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