Georgia’s House Republican majority could grow — again

Could some more Democrats be switching sides in Georgia’s Legislature?

State Rep. Ellis Black, D-Valdosta, said Friday morning he remains in the House Democratic Caucus. But when asked about a possible switch to the majority Republican caucus, he said: “I have had discussions with some of the folks about doing something a number of times over the years. We have had some discussions here recently. But at this point and time, we are still just having discussions.”

He said Republican House Speaker David Ralston has been part of those discussions. Asked if a decision was imminent, Black said: “You never know about how the pace of negotiations will go.” But he said nothing would happen before the beginning of next week.

Three House Democrats have switched parties since last week’s election. Those defections left the House split among 111 Republicans, 68 Democrats and one independent. The Republicans now have their largest majority since Reconstruction. For the GOP, reaching 120 members in the House would be huge as it takes that many votes to pass proposed constitutional amendments or to override a gubernatorial veto.

So what precipitated all of this with Black?

“The issues have gotten really divisive,” he said. “You can go back and check my voting record. I have voted very conservatively. I have voted with the Republicans more than some of the Republicans have. People in my district are very conservative.

“The Democratic Party is fixing to move in a more ideological direction,” he added. “I think the National (Democratic) Party has gotten too far to the left and certainly much further to the left of what Georgia is. And I think that is the problem in Washington.”

Black also indicated he and Rep. Amy Carter, D-Valdosta, are in the same situation.

“We have done things in the past as a team,” he said. “We are going to handle this as a team.”

Carter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Asked about Black and Carter, a spokesman for the Republican speaker said there was nothing to report, at least not yet.

“We would certainly welcome them,” said Ralston spokesman Marshall Guest, “but at this point I haven’t had any confirmation that they have switched parties.”

8 comments Add your comment


November 12th, 2010
11:45 am

Swapping political parties after an election when you were running unopposed is the cowardly approach to politics. I live in the district he repesents and I used the write in box to vote for “None of the above,” I feel a need for term limitations to restrict politicians from becoming to cozy with the big lobbyists in Atlanta and to refresh our Governing body at State level. Some are shaking over district lines being redrawn, so next election Mr. Black run as a Republican and see if you win.

[...] AJC gives us an update on State Reps. Ellis Black and Amy Carter: State Rep. Ellis Black, D-Valdosta, said Friday morning he remains in the House Democratic Caucus. [...]

No Brainer

November 12th, 2010
11:53 am

I don’t think switching parties after an election is an issue if you have a record to support your decision. Carter seems to act in a rather independent manner. She has never voted straight party. So, it does not bother me what party she belongs to. In fact, some of them would be nuts not to switch. Those who fail to switch won’t be able to really bringing anything to the table. Who suffers then? We do. Think about it.

No Brainer

November 12th, 2010
11:54 am

**sorry for typo–meant those who fail to switch won’t be able to really bring anything to the table.


November 12th, 2010
1:23 pm

Supposedly Rick Crawford of Cedartown is also under pressure to switch. Voters in Polk County replaced a bunch of local longtime Democrat commissioners and school board members with Republicans last week.


November 12th, 2010
1:56 pm

The fear redistricting. Demographics changes have forced Georgia to elminate some south georgia districts. In all likelihood, the districts eliminated will be white Democrats.


November 13th, 2010
7:21 am

Republicans better wake up. We do not need RINO’s. Case in point: Rep Black is listed on GA politico as endorsing Congressman Sanford Bishop ( Sorry, but I do not see how you can be republican and conservative yet endorse “nepotism” Bishop. I hope Speaker Ralston sees these switches for what they are–self-interests.


November 13th, 2010
7:34 pm

Title : The reps Will Stomp On Middle Class & Economy.
The SHAMELESS reps’ principal : No principal & power-only !
1. The reps’ campaign slogan, spending cut, has nothing to do with the deficit cut.
The Bush tax cut for the wealthy will add an additional $700 billion to the deficit over a decade.
Under the existing Bush tax cut for lavish bonus parties, a sole job plan for the republicans, the country already saw millions of job cuts.
And hence it’s the right time to ask themselves as to how they can pay for it.
As for the Democrats, sound investments = deficit increase.
As for the reps, empty giveaway policy = SHAMELESS top priority.
2. Over the duration of healthcare debate, using the preliminary cost analysis of CBO, the reps opposed the public option stubbornly, but after the release of final score, they have been defiant on the referee.
Inaction cost in relation to health care reform totals $9trillion over the next decade.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that reform will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years and as much as $1 trillion during the following decade
3. In view of Medicare & Social Security :
“Don’t Let Government Touch Your Medicare & Social Security”
“We will instead Stomp On Your Medicare & Social Security”
4. Jobs ahead in another Bush era ( = Entire Downfall ) ??
I think D.S. is going to realize vividly how Bush era wrecked economy.