Louisiana rep switches parties, giving Republicans 'supermajority'

JM McBride

State Representative Francis Thompson, a lifelong Democrat, switched parties on March 17, 2023, becoming a Republican, and giving the Republican Party a “supermajority” in the state Legislature.

A supermajority means that Republicans now have the ability to override the governor's vetoes if they vote along party lines.

"Let me clear -- Nothing has changed!" Thompson said in a news release issued by the Louisiana Republican Party.

Louisiana.Photo byKool ConUnsplash

"There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions. My conservative voting record over my years in the Legislature speaks for itself. The push the past several years by Democratic leadership on both the national and state level to support certain issues does not align with those values and principles that are a part of my Christian life.”

LAGOP Chairman Louis Gurvich said in the news release that Thompson switching parties was “historic.”

"This is a historic day for the Republican Party. Francis having joined our ranks is further evidence of Louisiana's yearning for conservative values and a rejection of Washington liberal politics," Gurvich said in the news release.

House Majority Leader Blake Miguez,said, according to the news release: "Today marks a pivotal moment for the Louisiana Legislature, as it has reached a supermajority for the first time in modern history. Representative Thompson's decision to change parties after 48 years sheds light on the evolving nature of political affiliations and highlights the importance of this milestone for the Legislature."

According to the release, Francis Thompson “is the longest serving member of the Louisiana Legislature, having served 32 years in the House, then 12 years in the Senate and back to the House for 4 years. He represents District 19 in East Carroll, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and West Carroll Parishes.” The release says he is a "retired college professor and businessman."

"My choice to move to the Republican Party is one that best represents my views and those of the constituents who elect me to serve them." Thompson said in the release.

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