A Hall County commissioner and former superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention joined the GOP on Thursday, becoming the latest Georgia politician to switch parties in the wake of last month’s election.
Ashley Bell is the “the first African-American elected official to switch parties since the General Election,” according to the state GOP.
“I’m joining the Republican Party because I’m a conservative and simply feel more at home as a Republican,” Bell said in a statement. “I have worked to make government more efficient and less intrusive in citizens’ lives and plan to continue those efforts as a Republican.”
Bell announced his decision during a Thursday press conference, accompanied by his wife Lauren, Georgia Republican Party Chairman Sue Everhart and Georgia Black Republican Council Chairman Michael McNeely.
“We are excited that Commissioner Bell will help lead the way for many other conservative African Americans to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican Party. We welcome all conservatives with open arms,” GAGOP Chairman Sue Everhart said in a statement.
“Party affiliation should not be an issue of race or geography. Mr. Bell shares the Republican Party’s conservative values and belief in common sense solutions to the problems facing Georgia,” Everhart added. “I am pleased to welcome such a strong and visionary leader.”