Texas Republican Judge Carlo Key quits Republican Party: “The Republican Party left me”

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As signs continue to mount that the Republican Party nationally is now in the early stages of a life-or-death Civil War between the Tea Party and its talk radio and internet pundit supporters and more traditional Republicans backed by the business community and Wall Street, Texas Republican judge Carlo Key has articulated what many polls show many Republicans have felt over the past few months and weeks: he says the Republican Party has left him and he’s quitting the party and running as a Democrat.

This isn’t good news for the GOP in Texas (where many believe that demographically it’s on the verge of if not going blue going decidedly purple) or nationally. Burnt Orange Report gives us these details:

The Republican Party continues to push moderate voters away, but now even it’s own elected officials are giving up on the fight with the extremist in their ranks. Today Bexar County Court at Law Judge Carlo Key switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party emphasizing that the, “Republican party has been at war with itself,” and that ultimately, “I have not left the Republican Party, it left me.”

I need to add that two years ago I went on a national tour that involved 49,000 miles of driving across the country in 9 months. I met many, MANY Republicans who had told me that they were going to be independents because they did not like the prominence of far-right conservatives. They said they’d either not vote or vote Democratic but they could not support the way the Republican Party was evolving. Recent polls have reflected this attitude — as does Key’s action:

His life experience of being born into poverty and pulling himself up by the bootstraps is a true Texas success story. Republicans love this narrative, but often leave out the details which make it all possible. Judge Key had to start working hard at an early age due to the circumstance of his father’s disability, but because of public assistance, and a strong public education he was able to rise above those natural hardships to become a small business owner and Judge.

Among his reasons for the switch he pointed to the government shutdown led by Congressional Republicans that hurt furloughed workers and their families, and the, “vain attempt to repeal [the Affordable Care Act] a law that would provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country.”

This is bad news for Republicans on a number of fronts. They lose a promising young politician and a prominent Hispanic from their ranks in one felled swoop. It also signals to other moderates that the tide is turning and the time is now.

Here’s his statement — which likely reflect the view of many centrists, moderates and independents — needs to be watched in full:


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  • slamfu

    Good for him.

  • SteveK

    Great article Joe.

    It’s difficult listen / give credence to someone on the ‘other’ side telling you that you’re wrong. It’s more unpleasant when they are on (or at least were on) your side, as you’ve less reason not to listen.

    And that’s why this is one of those that us ‘lefties’ with ‘rightie’ friends and relatives should send to them… And see what kind, if any, response you get.

    edit to add: If there are any articles with ‘lefties’ going ‘rightie’ our right leaning friends should do the same… Turn around IS fair play.

    While you’re at it please let me know too, I keep hearing inferences that this sort of thing happens all the time on the left (both sides do it you know) but they’re always short on specifics.