Ala. Dems blast ten for jumping parties

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Democratic Party leaders blasted Democratic elected officials in Covington and Tuscaloosa counties Tuesday who announced they are switching to the Republican Party.

Ten elected officials announced Monday that they would become Republicans. Those switching parties include Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton, Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks, Covington County District Judge Trippy McGuire, Covington County Commissioner Bragg Carter and Covington County School Board Chairman John Clark.

Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy said Tuesday the switching Republicans were abandoning Democrats who voted to put them in office.

"These party switchers have subverted the will of the voters," the Alabama Democratic Party said. "These were not acts of integrity as some claim, but selfish acts of self-interest. Three of these newly-minted Republicans were just re-elected as Democrats just three months ago, and if they were interested in serving the people they would have resigned their offices and stood for election as Republicans."

The party admits that it's a local official's "personal prerogative" to join any party they choose, "Yet the crucial whether the voters of these counties have been fairly treated."

The switches are just the latest losses to the once dominanting Democrats who until the last election held control of both houses of Alabama's legislature. Republicans now control most every major office at the state level.  

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.