By Aaron Gould Sheinin
Atlanta Journal Constitution
December 9, 2010
Two African-American Democrats on Thursday announced that they were joining the Republican Party.
Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell and former state executive committee member Andre Walker said the Democratic Party had grown too liberal and they are finding a new home with the Republicans.
The state GOP touted Bell as the first black elected official in modern times in Georgia to leave the Democrats for the GOP. But that distinction belongs to former state Sen. Ry Allen of Savannah, who joined the Republican Party in 1994.
“Since the first Democratic lawmaker bolted to the Republican Party, left-leaning activists have mocked and ridiculed those individuals as being self-serving people only looking for ways to remain in office,” Walker told the AJC. “But I’m not an elected official. I don’t hold public office. I’m not trying to protect my seat. I don’t have a seat to protect. I’m just a regular citizen with a healthy interest in the political process, and I’m joining the GOP because of ideology.”