Yet another Democratic legislator switched to the Republican Party this week, moving the GOP a little closer to having the two-thirds majority in the House needed to pass constitutional amendments without any help from Democrats.
Rep. Mike Cheokas of Americus joined a crowd of white, non-metro Atlanta Democrats who have switched since the November elections.
“As a member of the House since 2004, I have been driven to best represent the needs and interests of my constituents at the State Capitol in Atlanta. My fiscally conservative voting record reflects that effort and the views of my constituents, which ultimately led me to join the House Republican Caucus,” he said.
There are now 114 Republicans in the House, with 63 Democrats and one independent. Two seats are currently vacant.
One of the reasons some Democrats are switching is that 2011 will be the year the General Assembly re-draws political boundaries based on the changes in Georgia’s population over the past decade. That means South Georgia will be losing House and Senate seats to metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Since Republicans are in charge, white Democrats in South Georgia feared being the ones who would lose their seats.