Elba Senator Jumps Party Lines

It's been a long time coming, and after 38 years as a Democrat, it's official.

In a taped statement released Thursday, Elba Senator Jimmy Holley jumped party lines--for what he says are moral reasons.

"The ideals, values, and policies for which the republican party stands are more in line with my constituents views and my own personal beliefs," Holley said in the statement.

Back in Montgomery, state Democratic leaders disagree.  They say changing now neglects the community that voted him into office.

"He also needs to be true to the people that elected him, and they overwhelmingly said they were voting for a Democrat," explained Jim Spearman, Executive Director for the Alabama Democratic Party.

Though his old party questions Holley's motives, Democrats say Holley's jump to the right side of the aisle won't even make a dent in the power structure of the State Senate.

"Democrats still control the Senate and will control the Senate, and he will be in the minority," Spearman explained.

After years in Holley's corner, Democrats say they'll be waiting come next election season.

"We're going to be vigorously campaigning next time to make sure that is a Democratic district," Spearman said.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke