The longest-serving Democrat in the Louisiana state legislature, Francis Thompson is switching to the GOP giving Republicans a super majority in Baton Rouge for the first time in the state’s history.
On Friday, the Louisiana GOP put out a press release that Thompson was switching parties, giving them a 70-vote supermajority.
He was first elected to the state legislature as a Democrat in 1975, according to Newsweek.
The former Democrat-turned Republican said his values and principles guided his decision to switch.
“Let me be clear—nothing has changed,” Thompson said in a statement soon after the switch. “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,” he continued.
Thompson has a history of voting with Republicans during his time in office and already caucused with them even before switching parties.
In December 2022, Thompson signed a GOP-led legislation that exempted religious institutions from state public health orders, which was vetoed by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.