GOP allows U.S. Rep. Griffith to run as Republican

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Republican Party has decided Congressman Parker Griffith can run for re-election as a Republican.

Griffith of Huntsville was elected in 2008 as a Democrat to represent the 5th Congressional District in north Alabama.

In December he said he could no longer align himself with the policies of the Democrats and became a Republican.

But a resident of his district and former Congressional candidate, Hugh McInnish, filed a challenge.

McInnish said Griffith supported Democratic leaders when first elected to Congress and should not be allowed to run as a Republican.

"I think it will set a bad precedent if we let him on the ballot," said McInnish. "I don't know how we could ever deny anyone on the ballot and we do need to be somewhat discriminating. We should not allow just anyone on our ballot."

Party spokesman Philip Bryan said the state party's steering committee voted Saturday to let Griffith run as a Republican.

Copyright 2010 WSFA.  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.