Party switching in the United States


Party switching in the United States

In United States politics, party switching is any change in party affiliation of a partisan public figure, usually one who is currently holding elected office. In the United States' dominant two-party system, the switches most commonly occur between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, although there have also been a number of notable switches to and from third parties, and even between third parties. Use of the term party switch often connotes a transfer of held power from one party to another.

The majority of party switchers in the modern era have switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. This behavior has been most widespread in the South, especially during the Civil Rights movement, due to the Democratic Party's positions on civil rights and social issues which were unpopular at the time in this predominantly conservative region. President Lyndon B. Johnson famously remarked, upon signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "We have just lost the South for a generation."

Motivations

There are a number of reasons why an elected official, or someone seeking office, might choose to switch parties. One reason is ethical obligation--the person feels their views are no longer aligned with those of their current party.

A second reason is to gain power and influence. The incumbent may be a member of the minority party in a legislature and would like to gain the advantages of being in the majority party, such as the potential to chair a committee.

Another reason is simply "to get elected." This may be the primary reason when the opposing party's base in a constituency is reaching a size that threatens the safe reelection of the incumbent.

History

The nineteenth century

The shifting of allegiance between political parties was much more common during the nineteenth century than it is today. It took several years for political parties as we know them today to coalesce after the founding of the United States, and many parties formed and fell apart rapidly.

A massive party switch occurred in the 1800s and 1810s when many members of the United States Federalist Party joined the United States Democratic-Republican Party. When this party fell apart in the 1820s, its members all switched to various political parties, including the United States Whig Party, as well as the Democratic, National Republican, Anti-Jackson and Anti-Mason Parties. The Republican Party was also formed by a massive party switch in 1854 when northern members of the Whig, American and Free Soil parties, along with a few northern Democrats, formed the Republican Party, and many Southern Whigs became Democrats. Following the United States Civil War the Republican Party faced several massive party switches. As Reconstruction ended, many Southern Republicans became Democrats. In 1872 Republicans dissatisfied with President Ulysses S. Grant formed the Liberal Republican Party and had a joint presidential campaign with the Democrats. Most Liberal Republicans soon returned to the main Republican Party, however. A similar situation occurred in 1884 when the mugwumps left the Republican Party and supported the Democratic presidential candidate, later rejoining the Republican party. The next major conflict in the Republican Party occurred in 1896 when Republican supporters of Free silver left the party to form the Silver Republicans, though again most of these politicians later rejoined the Republican Party. By the late 19th century, as the Democratic and Republican parties became more established, however, party switching became less frequent.

The twentieth century

The shifts in American voter demographics beginning in the second half of the twentieth century - the southern states from Democratic to Republican, and New England and the west coastal states from Republican to Democratic - have prompted several incumbent federal legislators and many state legislators to switch parties.

Notable party switchers

Notable party switchers of the modern era include:

Democrat to Republican

*1854 - Reuben Fenton
*1856 - Hannibal Hamlin, before running for governor of Maine, later Vice President of the United States
*1856 - Simon Cameron, before running for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
*1856 - Galusha A. Grow, while U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, later Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
*1860s - Benjamin Franklin Butler
*1860s - James M. Hinds
*mid 1860s - Thompson Campbell
*mid 1860s - John A. Logan
*mid 1860s - John Adams Dix
*1868 - Ulysses S. Grant
*1869 - David P. Lewis, before running for Governor of Alabama
*1870 - James Lawrence Orr, judge of the Eighth Circuit in South Carolina and former governor of South Carolina
*1893 - James A. Walker, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, turned Republican before running for Congress
*1911 - Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo
*1921 - Theodore A. Bell
*1933 - Raymond Moley, due to anger over the New Deal
*1939 - Wendell Willkie, before running for President in 1940
*late 1940s - Spiro Agnew, future Vice President
*1949 - Joseph A. McArdle
*1949 - Rush D. Holt Sr.
*1950s - John Tower, while in college
*1950s - Bill Brock, as a young man
*1952 - Henry Hyde, U.S. Representative from Illinois from 1975 to 2007.
*1956 - Cora Brown, Michigan State Senator and first female African-American State Senator
*1959 - Francis Grevemberg, before running for Governor of Louisiana
*1959 - Dud Lastrapes, as a television anchorman long before he was elected mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana
*early 1960s - Arthur Ravenel, Jr., before running for the South Carolina State Senate
*1960s - James F. Byrnes, after endorsing many Republicans in the 1950s and 60s
*1960 - Charlton Lyons, to support Richard Nixon for U.S. President and to run for Congress in a special election in 1961
*1960 - Claude Kirk, to support Nixon for president. He returned to the Democrats in 1978 in a failed gubernatorial bid.
*1961 - Billy J. Guin, to support Charlton Lyons for Congress
*1962 - Jack Cox, to run for Governor of Texas
*1962 - James D. Martin, to run for the U.S. Senate from Alabama
*1962 - Ronald Reagan, while an actor and former SAG President
*1962 - Floyd Spence, while a state representative from South Carolina; ran for the House of Representatives as a Republican and lost, later elected to the state senate before making a successful run for the House
*1962 - David C. Treen, when making his first race for U.S. representative
*1964 - Strom Thurmond, while U.S. senator from South Carolina
*1965 - Albert Watson, while U.S. Representative from South Carolina (resigned before switching parties and re-won his seat in a special election)
*1965 - Arlen Specter, while running for Philadelphia District Attorney
*mid 1960s - Roderick Miller
*1966 - Thomas Wofford, before write-in campaign for State Senator from South Carolina
*1966 - Len E. Blaylock, to support Winthrop Rockefeller for Governor of Arkansas
*1966 - Jerry Thomasson, before running for Attorney General of Arkansas
*1966 - Henry Grover, before being elected to the Texas Senate
*1967 - William Dannemeyer, after leaving the California State Assembly
*1967 - Allison Kolb, to run for state treasurer in Louisiana in 1968
*1968 - Bill Archer, while a member of the Texas House of Representatives
*1969 - John Henry Baker, while preparing to run for the Louisiana State Senate
*late 1960s - Thad Cochran, before serving as Mississippi executive director of Richard Nixon's 1968 Presidential campaign.
*late 1960s - Bob Barr, while in college, later switched to the Libertarian Party
*1970s - Michael S. Steele, as a young man
*1970s - David Beasley, as a young man
*1970 - Jesse Helms, two years before running for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina
*1970 - A. C. Clemons, while serving in the Louisiana Senate
*1970 - William Oswald Mills, before running for U.S. Representative from Maryland
*1971 - Tillie K. Fowler
*1972 - Sam Yorty, while Mayor of Los Angeles
*1972 - Robert R. Neall, before serving in the Maryland House of Delegates. He switched back to Democrat in 1999
*1972 - Trent Lott, while running for the House of Representatives from Mississippi. He was administrative assistant to Rules Committee chairman William Colmer, who endorsed Lott as his successor despite Lott's party switch.
*1973 - Mills E. Godwin Jr., Democratic governor of Virginia from 1966 to 1970, moved to the Republican Party and was reelected, serving as governor again from 1974 to 1978.
*1973 - Samuel I. Hayakawa, three years before running for the U.S. Senate from California
*1973 - John Connally, not then in office; six years before he sought the Republican presidential nomination
*1975 - Elizabeth Dole, while employed by the Federal Trade Commission
*1975 - John Jarman, while U.S. Representative from Oklahoma. He had served for 24 years in the House and said he was fed up with the Democratic party, which had been "taken over by liberals". He retired in 1976.
*1977 - A. J. McNamara, while serving in the Louisiana House
*1977 - Lane Carson while serving in the Louisiana House
*1978 - Robert G. Jones, after leaving the Louisiana Senate
*1978 - Michele Bachmann, currently a U.S. Representative from Minnesota
*late 1970s - Thomas Bliley, after being Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and before election to U.S. House of Representatives
*late 1970s - Michael F. "Mike" Thompson, while serving in the Louisiana House
*late 1970s - Chris Smith, currently a U.S. Representative from New Jersey
*1979 - Jim Gerlach, currently a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
*1979 - Charles Grisbaum, Jr.
*early 1980s - Claude Allen
*1980s - S. S. DeWitt, after having left the Louisiana House of Representatives
*1980s - Pat McCrory, currently the mayor of Charlotte and the 2008 Republican nominee for Governor of North Carolina
*1980s - Mike Pence, currently a U.S. Representative from Indiana
*1980s - Mel Martinez, currently a U.S. Senator from Florida
*1980s - Paul Broun, currently a U.S. Representative from Georgia
*1980 - Mac Collins, while county commissioner
*1980 - Jim Donelon, to run for Congress in a special election
*1980 - Jesse Monroe Knowles, while serving near the end of his term in the Louisiana Senate
*1980 - Frank D. White, to run for governor of Arkansas
*1980s - J.C. "Sonny" Gilbert, after having left office as a member of both houses of the Louisiana legislature
*1981 - Bob Stump, while U.S. Representative from Arizona
*1981 - Eugene Atkinson, while U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
*1982 - Condoleezza Rice
*1983 - Jimmy Fitzmorris, to attempt to regain the office of Louisiana lieutenant governor
*1983 - Phil Gramm, while U.S. Representative from Texas (resigned before switching parties and re-won his seat in a special election)
*1983 - Bob Martinez, while mayor of Tampa, Florida
*1984 - Andy Ireland, while U.S. Representative from Florida
*mid 1980s - H. Edward Knox; became an independent in 2005
*1985 - Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
*1985 - Edward J. King, former governor of Massachusetts
*1985 - Dexter Lehtinen, while serving in the Florida House of Representatives
*1985 - Kent Hance, former U.S. Representative, after losing the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Texas
*1985 - Jock Scott, near the end of his tenure in the Louisiana House of Representatives
*1985 - Carole Keeton Strayhorn, now State Comptroller of Texas (she ran for Texas Governor as an independent in 2006)
*1986 - William Bennett, while U.S. Secretary of Education
*1986 - Richard Baker, before winning a U.S. House seat in Louisiana
*1986 - Charles T. Canady, while serving in the Florida House of Representatives
*1986 - Frank Rizzo, before running for Mayor of Philadelphia in 1987
*1986 - James David Santini, before running for U.S. Senator from Nevada
*1987 - Paul Hardy, before running for Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
*1987 - Roy Moore, prior to being appointed to an Alabama circuit judgeship
*1988 - Jim McCrery, while running for U.S. Representative from Louisiana. He had been a staff member for Buddy Roemer, but switched parties before the special election after Roemer was elected governor.
*1988 - David Duke, prior for running for an unexpired term in the Louisiana state legislature
*1989 - Edward Vrdolyak, before running for Mayor of Chicago
*1989 - Bill Grant, while U.S. Representative from Florida
*1989 - Tommy F. Robinson, while U.S. Representative from Arkansas
*1989 - Rick Perry, before running for Agriculture Commissioner of Texas
*1989 - W. Fox McKeithen, while Louisiana Secretary of State
*early 1990s - Eli Bebout, while serving in the Wyoming House of Representatives
*1990s - Herman Badillo, before running for Mayor of New York City
*c. 1990 - Tom Vandergriff, while running for county judge of Tarrant County, Texas (had served as mayor of Arlington, a nonpartisan position, and in Congress as a Democrat)
*1990 - Vito Fossella, current U.S. Representative from New York
*1991 - Lauch Faircloth, to run for the U.S. Senate in 1992
*1991 - Bret Schundler, before running for the New Jersey Senate
*1991 - Buddy Roemer, governor of Louisiana switched parties shortly before the beginning of his unsuccessful reelection campaign
*1992 - Byron Looper, before running for State Representative in Tennessee
*1993 - Don W. Williamson, to oppose the Clinton administration
*1994 - Walter B. Jones, while running for U.S. Representative from North Carolina
*1994 - Ed Whitfield, the day before filing as a candidate for the U. S. House in Kentucky
*1994 - Mike Bowers, while Attorney General of Georgia
*1994 - Fob James, while running for Governor of Alabama
*1994 - Richard Shelby, while U.S. Senator from Alabama
*1994 - Woody Jenkins, while Louisiana state House member
*1994 - Dan Richey, former Louisiana Democratic state legislator switched from independent to Republican when the Republicans won control of the U.S. Congress
*mid 1990s - Ed Austin, while Mayor of Jacksonville
*1995 - Jimmy Hayes, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana
*1995 - Greg Laughlin, while U.S. Representative from Texas
*1995 - Ben Nighthorse Campbell, while U.S. Senator from Colorado
*1995 - Billy Tauzin, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana
*1995 - Nathan Deal, while U.S. Representative from Georgia [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE7D6163DF932A25757C0A963958260]
*1995 - Mike Parker, while U.S. Representative from Mississippi [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E5D81439F932A25752C1A963958260]
*1995 - Mike Foster, while running for Governor of Louisiana
*1995 - Rusty Crowe, Tennessee state senator
*1995 - Milton H. Hamilton, Jr, Tennessee state senator
*1996 - Norm Coleman, while mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
*1997 - Kevin Mannix, after losing Democratic nomination for Oregon Attorney General in 1996
*1997 - Michael J. Michot, while serving in the Louisiana House
*1998 - George Wallace, Jr., before running for Alabama Public Service Commissioner
*1998 - Herman Badillo
*1998 - David G. Boschert
*1998 - Sonny Perdue, while a Georgia State Senator
*1999 - Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, while New York State Senator; defeated in 2006
*2000 - Robert J. Barham, while serving in the Louisiana State Senate
*2000 - Matthew G. Martinez, while U.S. Representative from California
*2001 - Clinton LeSueur, before running for U.S. Representative from Mississippi
*2001 - Michael Bloomberg, before running for mayor of New York City
*2001 - Hunt Downer, before running for Governor of Louisiana
*2002 - Amy Tuck, while Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi
*2002 - Olga A. Méndez, while State Senator in New York
*2002 - Don Cheeks, while a Georgia State Senator
*2002 - Dan Lee, while a Georgia State Senator
*2002 - Rooney Bowen, while a Georgia State Senator
*2002 - Jack Hill, while a Georgia State Senator
*2002 - Virgil Goode, congressman from Virginia, first became an Independent in 2000, then joined the Republican Party in 2002.
*2003 - James David Cain, prior to his final election to the Louisiana Senate
*2003 - Melinda Schwegmann, while State House member in Louisiana
*2003 - Rick Sheehy, while mayor of Hastings, Nebraska
*2003 - Gabriel Vasquez, Houston City Councilmember (council seat is nonpartisan)
*2004 - Ralph Hall, while U.S. Representative from Texas
*2004 - Rodney Alexander, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana (his switch just before the filing deadline prevented the Democrats from fielding a viable replacement candidate) [http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/07/congress.switch/index.html]
*2004 - Steve Beren, before running for U.S. Representative from Washington
*2005 - Michael Diven, while in Pennsylvania state House, defeated in 2006 elections
*2006 - Sheri McInvale, Florida State Representative, defeated in 2006 elections
*2006 - Don McLeary, Tennessee state senator, defeated in 2006
*2006 - John Giannetti, Maryland State Senator, defeated in 2006
*2006 - Mickey Channell, while a Georgia State Representative
*2006 - Will Kendrick, Florida State Representative, after being reelected as a Democrat
*2006 - Billy Montgomery, while serving in the Louisiana House
*2007 - James Walley, Mississippi State Senator. Walley was originally elected as a Democrat after defeating Tommy Dickerson, who had switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. However, Walley was then defeated in the 2007 legislative elections by Tommy Dickerson, now running as a Democrat once more.
*2007 - Tommy Gollott, current Mississippi State Senator from Biloxi
*2007 - Dawn Pettengill, member of the Iowa House of Representatives
*2007 - Mike Jacobs, while a Georgia State Representative
*2007 - John N. Kennedy, while State Treasurer of Louisiana
*2007 - Robert Adley, while a member of the Louisiana State Senate (re-elected for his current term as a Democrat)
*2008 - Nolan Mettetal, member of the Mississippi State Senate [http://cottonmouthblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/nolan-mettetal-takes-final-step.html] Though he never formally changed his affiliation, former U.S. Senator Zell B. Miller (D-Georgia), endorsed George W. Bush and spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Democrat to third party/independent or third party to Democrat

*1848 - The anti-slavery "Barnburner" faction of the Democratic Party, along with members of the Liberty Party, splintered into creating the Free Soil Party in 1848 including former Democratic President Martin Van Buren who was the party's presidential nominee the same year. Most returned to the Democratic Party after it dissolved.
*1878 - Hendrick Bradley Wright, congressman from Pennsylvania, ran for reelection on the Greenback Party and sought the party's presidential nomination in 1880.
*1880s - Absolom M. West, joined the Greenback Party before being selected as a running mate on that party's presidential campaign in 1884
*1890 - Thomas E. Watson switched to the Populist Party to run for Congress. He was also the party's vice presidential candidate in 1896 and presidential candidate in 1904 and 1908. He switched back to the Democratic Party and the Populist Party dissolved.
*1946-48 - Henry A. Wallace left the Democratic Party after being fired as Secretary of Commerce by Harry S. Truman. He ran for President as the Progressive and American Labor Party candidate in 1948. Later supported Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon for President.
*1948 - The States' Rights Democratic Party splintered from the Democratic Party. Most of its members returned to the Democratic Party after the 1948 election.
*1964 - The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was founded.
*1970 - Harry F. Byrd, Jr., conservative Democratic US senator from Virginia, became an independent and was reelected to the Senate against opponents from both parties.
*1974 - D. French Slaughter, Jr., while serving in the Virginia House of Delegates. Later elected to Congress as a Republican.
*1994 - Wes Watkins, while running for governor of Oklahoma. He lost, but was elected as a Republican two years later to the House seat he held as a Democrat from 1977 to 1991.
*1998 - Jerry Brown, former Governor of California and 1976, 1980 and 1992 candidate for Democratic presidential nomination. Left Democratic Party and registered as Decline to State (unaffilated voter in California). Then he was elected to nonpartisan post of Mayor of Oakland, California. He reentered his old Party shortly thereafter and now is Attorney General of California
*2000 - Virgil Goode, congressman from Virginia became an independent. He joined the Republican Party in 2002.
*2000 - Matt Gonzalez, to the Green Party, during his campaign for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
*2000 - Audie Bock, after being elected to the California State Assembly in 1999, as a Green ran as an Independent in 2000. After losing the November 2000 election Bock re-registered as a Democrat.
*2002 - Tim Penny, a member of congress from Minnesota (1983–1995) to Independence Party of Minnesota to run for governor
*2003 - Matt Ahearn, to the Green Party, while a New Jersey state legislator [http://www.ballot-access.org/2003/0201.html#4]
*2005 - Jim Lendall, Four term Arkansas state legislator, to Green Party, ran on Green ballot Line for Governor in 2006.
*2006 - Joe Lieberman, to run as an independent (on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket) for US Senate in Connecticut, after losing to challenger Ned Lamont in the Democratic Primary. Lieberman won the election, and has said he intends to caucus with the Democrats, although in the 2008 presidential election, he endorsed the Republican nominee John McCain over the Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
*2006 - Avel Gordly, while in Oregon Senate
*2006 - William M. Paparian, former Mayor Pasadena, California to Green Party, to run for Congress California 29th
*2006 - Barbara Becnel,to the Green Party following unsuccessful run for Democratic Party's nomination for Governor of California [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/01/15/18347065.php]
*2006 - Ben Westlund, after his aborted candidacy for Governor of Oregon. In December 2006, Westlund, a Republican turned Independent, became a Democrat. He is currently running for State Treasurer.
*2007 - Eric Eidsness, switched from Republican to Reform Party to the Democratic Party, possibly to run for Congress in 2008 in Colorado's 4th congressional district after losing the election in 2006.
*2007 - Cynthia McKinney, switched from Democrat to Green in October 2007 and is now the Green Party's presidential nominee. [http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews_interviews_U.S._Green_Party_presidential_candidate_Cynthia_McKinney] .
*2008 - Chris Lugo, 2006 Green Party US Senate candidate switched to Democratic Party to run for the Democratic nomination for this year’s U.S. Senate race.
*2008 - Mike Gravel, former US Senator and 2008 presidential candidate switched from Democrat to Libertarian [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/26/politics/main3969758.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_3969758] .

Republican to Democrat

*1860s - Alonzo Garcelon
*1860s - Henry George
*late 1860s - Andrew Gregg Curtin, after leaving office as governor of Pennsylvania, elected to Congress as a Democrat.
*1872 - Edmund G. Ross, after leaving office as U.S. Senator from Kansas
*1933 - Henry A. Wallace switched to Democratic Party, but left after being fired as Secretary of Commerce by Harry S. Truman. He ran for President as the Progressive and American Labor Party candidate in 1948. Later supported Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon for President.
*1950s - David Obey, now U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
*1960s - Pete Stark, now U.S. Representative from California
*1960s - Hillary Clinton, while in college
*1960s - Howard Dean, while in college
*1960s - Archibald Carey, Jr, after serving as a Chicago alderman and before being elected as a circuit court judge in Cook County, Illinois
*1962 - Calhoun Allen, to run for the Shreveport, Louisiana, City Council
*1970s - Ralph Neas
*1971 - John Lindsay, while mayor of New York City
*1971 - Leon Panetta, switched parties while not in or running for public office. He later became a U.S. representative from California (1976-93) and White House Chief of Staff (1994-1997)
*1972 - Ogden R. Reid, while U.S. representative from New York
*1973 - Joan Finney, before being elected Kansas State Treasurer
*1973 - Don Riegle, while U.S. representative from Michigan
*1977 - Peter Peyser, after three terms in the House as a New York Republican, vacated his seat to run for nomination for the Senate in 1976. After his unsuccessful attempt, he switched to the Democratic party and regained his House seat in 1978.
*1985 - John Yarmuth, now U.S. Representative from Kentucky
*1991 - Mike Doyle, now U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
*1991 - Markos Moulitsas, while in the Army
*1992 - Loretta Sanchez, now U.S. Representative from California
*1994 - Bernard Erickson, Texas State Representative
*1996 - Carolyn McCarthy, now U.S. Representative from New York, to challenge incumbent Dan Frisa (McCarthy was still a registered Republican at the time, but changed her registration to Democratic in 2002)
*1997 - Betsy McCaughey Ross, during her term as Lieutenant Governor of New York, after falling out of favour with Governor George Pataki
*1997 - Debra J. Mazzarelli, New York State Assemblywoman
*1998 - Russell W. Peterson, Governor of Delaware 1969-1973
*1999 - Michael Forbes, while U.S. representative from New York
*1999 - Robert R. Neall, Maryland State Senator
*2000 - Dean Johnson, former GOP State Senate Minority Leader and future DFL State Senate Majority Leader, while State Senator from Minnesota
*2000 - Judi Dutcher, while State Auditor from Minnesota
*2000 - Margaret Gamble, South Carolina State Representative
*2000 - Mickey Whatley, South Carolina State Representative
*2000 - Randy Sauder, Georgia State Representative
*2001 - Kathy Ashe, Georgia State Representative
*2002 - D. G. Anderson, before filing for the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii
*2002 - Charles R. Larson, before running for Lieutenant Governor of Maryland
*2002 - Ray Nagin, days before filing for the mayoral race in New Orleans
*2002 - Douglas Stalnaker, member of West Virginia House of Delegates
*2003 - Michael Decker, North Carolina State Representative
*2003 - Teresa Heinz Kerry, in protest of the campaign tactics used by Saxby Chambliss in the Georgia U.S. Senate race of 2002
*2003 - Barbara Hafer, while State Treasurer of Pennsylvania
*2003 - Corey Corbin, New Hampshire State Representative
*2003 - Stan Moody, Maine State Representative
*2004 - Arthur Mayo, Maine State Senator
*2004 - Scott Dix, Georgia State Representative
*2005 - Andy Warren, former Bucks County, Pennsylvania Commissioner and well-known local politician; lost Congressional bid in 2006 to Patrick Murphy
*2005 - Paul J. Morrison, attorney from Overland Park, Kansas, to run successfully for attorney general in 2006; resigned in scandal after less than a year in office
*2005 - Robert McCabe, Sheriff of Norfolk, Virginia
*2005 - Steve Lukert, Kansas State Representative [http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t57489.html]
*2006 - James Webb, US Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, prior to running for U.S. Senate in Virginia
*2006 - Mark Parkinson, former Kansas Republican Party Chairman, prior to running for Lieutenant Governor of Kansas
*2006 - Charles Barkley, former NBA basketballer, in anticipation of running for Governor of Alabama in 2014
*2006 - Nancy Riley, GOP whip for the Oklahoma State Senate, as reported by the Daily Oklahoman. [http://www.newsok.com/article/2825137/]
*2006 - Kate Witek, while serving as Auditor of Nebraska
*2006 - Montana State Senator Sam Kitzenberg switched from Republican to Democrat with the reported motivation being to break a 25 to 25 tie (the new ratio will be 26 Democrats to 24 Republicans). [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061118/ap_on_re_us/montana_senate_switch]
*2006 - Rodney Tom, switched parties while serving in the Washington State House of Representatives after the 2006 legislative session ended, announced he would run as a Democrat for State Senate in his district, in November 2006 defeated Republican incumbent state Senator Luke Esser. [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002864809_webpartyswitch14.html]
*2006 - Diana Urban, Connecticut State Representative.
*2006 - Cindy Neighbor, Kansas State Representative; served as moderate Republican from 2002 to 2004 before losing renomination in 2004 to a more conservative Republican; sought rematch and won as a Democrat in 2006
*2006 - Judy Leyerzapf, Abilene, Kansas City Council member [http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t57489.html]
*2006 - Barney Giese, County Prosecutor of Richland County, South Carolina
*2007 - Pete McCloskey, former congressman from California
*2007 - Walter Boasso, Louisiana state senator from Arabi to run for governor against Republican front-runner U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal.
*2007 - Paul D. Froehlich, Illinois State Representative. According to the Chicago Tribune, Froehlich is cited as saying that the Republican Party "future prospects are not that good".
*2007 - Mike Spano, New York State Assemblyman. His brother, Nicholas Spano, was defeated for re-election by Andrea Stewart-Cousins on November 7, 2006.
*2007 - Janet DiFiore, Westchester County NY District Attorney
*2007 - Chris Koster, Missouri State Senator, before running for Attorney General.
*2007 - Milward Dedman, Kentucky State Representative
*2007 - Melvin B. Henley, Kentucky State Representative
*2007 - Kirk England, Texas State Representative [http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2007/sep/28/state-representative-kirk-england-switches-democra/]
*2007 - James Hovland, while Mayor of Edina, Minnesota
*2007 - Francis Bodine, New Jersey State Representative
*2007 - Debbie Stafford, Colorado State Representative [http://cbs4denver.com/local/aurora.colorado.rep.2.562605.html]
*2007 - Entire Town Council in Lyndhurst, New Jersey
*2007 - Fred Jarrett, Washington State Representative
*2007 - Karen Awana, Hawaii State Representative
*2007 - Mike Gabbard, Hawaii State Senator
*2008 - Rich White, Eau Claire County, WI, District Attorney

Republican to third party/independent

*1872 - Republicans in frustration with the Grant administration formed the Liberal Republican Party and joined the Democratic Party. Most returned to the Republican Party after the 1872 election.
*1870s - James Weaver, left the Republican Party over disenchantment with Ulysses S. Grant, elected to Congress on the Greenback Party ticket and was the party's presidential nominee in 1880. Later switched to the Populist Party and ran for President on that party's ticket in 1892.
*1890s - Republicans who had agreed with the Free Silver movement of the 1890s formed the Silver Republican Party. After the party faded, members either switched to the Democratic Party or returned to the Republican Party.
*1896 - Wharton Barker switched to the Populist Party.
*1912 - Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United States, left the Republican Party after a failed attempt to be nominated for President again. He ran as the candidate of the newly formed Progressive Party, better known as the Bull Moose Party, and received second place, doing better than the Republican candidate but being defeated by the Democratic candidate.
*1935 - Robert M. La Follette, Jr., while U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, switched from the Republican Party to the Progressive Party.
*1936 - George William Norris, progressive Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska left the Republican Party to become an independent and was reelected to the Senate once more, but was defeated in 1942 by a Republican in a race which also involved a Democrat.
*1937 or 1938 - Vito Marcantonio, a liberal Republican congressman from New York left the party after being defeated for reelection, and joined the American Labor Party. He was then reelected to Congress.
*1952 - Wayne Morse, while U.S. senator from Oregon. He then switched from independent to Democrat in 1956.
*1972 - Roger MacBride, went from Republican to Libertarian and back to Republican
*1980 - John Anderson, Republican congressman from Illinois, left the Republican presidential primary race for an independent centrist campaign in the 1980 presidential election.
*1988 - Ron Paul, a former Republican congressman, ran for President as a Libertarian. He later returned to Congress as a Republican.
*1990's? - Arianna Huffington, wife of one-term U.S. Rep. Michael Huffington (R-California). She is now a frequent commentator with a large base of progressive and liberal fans. She even mounted an Independent bid for Governor of California in the 2003 recall election.
*1990 - Walter Hickel, former Nixon Interior Secretary left Republican Party before his successful bid for Governor of Alaska, as nominee of the Alaskan Independence Party [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE2DD123CF930A25752C1A966958260&sec=&spon=] . He rejoined the Republican party in 1994.
*1990 - Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., before running for governor of Connecticut
*1999 - Pat Buchanan, a conservative commentator who attempted to secure the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, left the Republican Party and gathered his supporters to take over the Reform Party, which made him their 2000 presidential nominee. [http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/10/25/poll.buchanan/index.html]
*1999 - Donald Trump, real-estate billionaire left Republican Party and registered as a member of the Independence Party of New York the Reform Party's New York affiliate, in exploratory bid for the parties presidential nomination. later rejoined Republican Party. [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19991025&slug=2991068]
*1999 - Robert C. Smith United States Senator from New Hampshire, a well-known conservative, left the Republican Party while running for the Presidential nomination in 1999 and declared himself a candidate for the U.S. Taxpayer's Party presidential nomination, then an independent candidate. He finally returned to the GOP when a Senate committee chairmanship became open.
*2000 - Rick Jore, three terms Republican Montana State Representative, to U.S. Constitution Party, became party's highest elected official when elected to the Montana House in 2006 and appointed chairman of the House Education Committee
*2001 - James M. Jeffords, while U.S. senator from Vermont. This move changed the balance of power in the Senate from 50-50, with Republican Vice President Richard B. Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote and thus providing a "51" majority, to 50-49-1, giving the Democrats majority control of the Senate until the GOP regained control in 2003, following the 2002 midterm elections. Jeffords was given a committee chairmanship by the Democratic leadership and caucused with the Democrats until he chose not to run for re-election and left the Senate.
*2002 - Former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson announces he no longer considers himself a Republican due to the Republican Party of Minnesota's shift to the right on social issues. Carlson has not held elected office since 1999.
*2006 - Carole Keeton Strayhorn, while Comptroller of Texas. Disenchanted with Gov. Rick Perry's leadership of the state. Strayhorn decided to run against him in the 2006 state elections as an independent. Strayhorn claims to be still a Republican at heart.
*2006 - Ben Westlund, before his aborted candidacy for Governor of Oregon. In December 2006, Westlund took the switch a step further by becoming a Democrat [http://www.senatorwestlund.com/news_sendems-democrat-12-12-06.php] .
*2006 - Bob Barr, former congressman from Georgia, joined the Libertarian Party [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/15/ap/politics/mainD8M1ILB00.shtml] .
*2007 - Micheal R. Williams, while a Tennessee State Senator, became an independent [http://www.nashvillepost.com/news?id=26608] .
*2007 - Michael Bloomberg, While Mayor of New York City, became an independent [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,284612,00.html] .
*2007 - Lincoln Chafee, former U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, switched to unaffiliated [http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/02/14/664722.aspx] .
*2007 - Michael Amo, Orange County New York legislator, switched to Independence Party of New York [http://www.ballot-access.org/2007/12/19/ny-independence-party-gains-a-county-legislator-in-orange-county/] .
*2007 - Richard W. Singleton, Member of Rhode Island House of Representatives [http://www.beloblog.com/ProJo_Blogs/politics/2007/09/anger-over-bush.html]
*2008 - Jeff Wood, Wisconsin State Assemblyman [http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/07/27/independent-wisconsin-legislator-faces-hostility-from-his-former-party/]
*2008 - Ron Erhardt, nine term Minnesota State Rep., running for 10th term as independent [http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/07/11/erhardt/] .

Other

*1891 - James Weaver, Republican turned Greenbacker, later helped founded the Populist Party and ran for President on that party's ticket in 1892.
*1941 - Henrik Shipstead, while U.S. Senator from Minnesota, switched from the Farmer-Labor Party to the Republican Party.
*1980 - Thomas M. Foglietta, while running for U.S. representative from Pennsylvania as an independent, having previously been a Republican councilman and mayoral candidate, switched to the Democratic party.
*2000 - Jesse Ventura, while governor of Minnesota, left the Reform Party, along with most of his supporters, to create the separate Independence Party of Minnesota. [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/election2000/states/minnesota/ventura.html]
*2007 - Elaine Brown, left Green Party became independent after withdrawing from Green Party presidential race [http://gpblackcaucus.blogspot.com/2007/12/elaine-brown-withdraws-from-green-party.html] .
*2008 - Bill Scheurer, Two time candidate for the U.S. House, and Chair of the Illinois Moderate Party, switched to the Green Party [http://openmindsandopenhearts.blogspot.com/2008/03/bill-scheurer-goes-green.html] .
*2008 - Iain Abernathy, Illinois Moderate Party 2008 Candidate for U.S. House, Switched to Green Party [http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/labels/Iain%20Abernathy.html] .There have been several instances of politicians continuing to be a member of a political party while running other campaigns as an independent. The most prominent examples include southern Democratic segregationists Strom Thurmond in 1948 and George Wallace in 1968, who remained in the Democratic Party for statewide campaigns but mounted national presidential campaigns as independents.Wallace later ran in the 1972 Democratic primaries. Earlier, liberal Republican Robert La Follette, Sr. ran for President as the candidate of the Progressive Party in 1924, while still remaining a Republican in the Senate.

Other political figures, such as Zell Miller and Ed Koch, did not formally leave their parties, but supported a candidate from another party. Miller and Koch, though well-known Democrats, supported Republican George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign. This received much media attention in 2004, when Democrats for Bush and Republicans for Kerry groups were formed. In New Hampshire, former Republican governor Walter Peterson has expressed supported Democrat John Lynch in his bids for governor. Similarly, in 1860, former Democratic President Martin Van Buren ended up supporting Abraham Lincoln due to his disagreements with Democratic policies on secession. Other examples would include former Republican Senator from Minnesota David Durenberger supporting John Kerry in 2004 and former Democratic Attorney General Griffin Bell supporting George W. Bush in 2004.

ee also

*Crossover voting
*Republican In Name Only, Democrat In Name Only
*Red state-blue state divide
*U.S. states, with map
*crossing the floor for the same concept in the Westminster system.
*Reagan Democrat
*Obama Republican
*People United Means Action

External links

* [http://edition.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/05/23/switchers.list - A list of party switchers (compiled in 2001)]
* [http://www.cookpolitical.com/column/1999/072099.php - An overview of party switching in recent years] .
* [http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/05/23/party.switchers/ - "Party switching comes with political risks"]
* [http://www.newsok.com/article/2825137/ Oklahoma State Senator Nancy Riley switches from Republican to Democrat]
* [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061118/ap_on_re_us/montana_senate_switch Montana State Senator switches from Republican to Democrat to break a 25 to 25 tie]
* [http://www.mikebloomberg.com Mayor Michael Bloomberg's official homepage]
* [http://polwatchers.typepad.com/pol_watchers/2007/09/speaker-confirm.html Speaker confirms Rep. Dedman's party switch]
* [http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2823/ Wave of Party Switchers Hits Republicans]


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