Are TX Dems Jumping Ship?

December 12, 2010

Another Democrat Defection

Thomas Lifson


State Rep. Allan Ritter

A Texas state legislator has announced he is leaving the Democratic Party, and a colleague is likely to follow suit, giving the GOP a two thirds majority, and the ability to pass constitutional amendments, and tap the state’s rainy day fund without a single Demcorat vote.

The Austin Statesman reports:

State Rep. Allan Ritter of Nederland said Saturday that he will leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican, probably giving the GOP a two-thirds majority in the Texas House.

He may not be the last one. Democratic Rep. Aaron Peña of Edinburg hinted Saturday about making the switch to the GOP. (snip)

A switch by Peña could provide one final blow to Democrats before year’s end. One of the most conservative Democrats in the Legislature and a close ally of Republican Speaker Joe Straus, Peña on Friday told the Rio Grande Guardian that he was weighing a switch.

“I am taking the matter under consideration, and I will issue a public statement in the coming days, one way or the other,” Peña said. “I am who I am and my intention is to represent my community and to give them the best possible advantage under the current environment.”

Peña was out of state on a vacation with his wife Saturday, but wrote on Twitter: “Hard not to notice the stir back in Texas. Change is always difficult.”

The Democrats are a failing party, and these Texans are wise to dump it. The few remaining Blue Dogs in the US House, not to mention Senator Joseph Lieberman (officially an independent but caucusing with the Democrats) would be wise to follow suit.

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