ATLANTA – State Rep. Alan Powell, a Democrat from Hartwell, is switching parties, saying that he can better represent his constituents by serving in the state legislature as a Republican.
“My duty is to represent the citizens of my district the best I can,” The Hartwell Sun quoted Powell as saying. “I think my voice can be better heard on the other side.”
The newspaper also quoted Powell as saying: “It does not mean I’m changing my form of representation. I guarantee it won’t. I represent everybody.”
Powell, who was first elected to the General Assembly in 1990, has long been considered an independent voice, winning re-election as a Democrat when much of the state elected Republicans.
After a heated 2006 re-election campaign, Powell told the Athens Banner-Herald: “I’m up there to represent the people of my counties, not to blindly follow in lockstep. I think that message resonates with the voters.” This year, he ran unopposed.
Powell’s district includes portions of Franklin, Hart and Madison counties in Northeast Georgia. During the last session, Powell served on the appropriations, governmental affairs and motor vehicles committees.