Louisiana State Rep. Flips to GOP Giving Party a Supermajority

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Good news for the GOP, a Louisiana state representative has switched parties, and now the Republican Party has its first supermajority in both governing bodies.

Longtime Democrat Representative Francis Thompson, 81, has served Northeast Louisiana for fifty years. Now he has changed his party registration to Republican, which makes him the 70th Republican member of the state House. Republicans had already held a supermajority in the state Senate.

Thompson wrote a statement that said the current Democrat leadership in the state in the nation no longer lined up with his morals and values as a Christian. 

“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 part of my Christian life,” Thompson said.

This change comes after Thompson crossed the aisle in 2021 to align with the GOP in calling for a veto override session, a first for the state. 

Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards rejected a slate of bills that included one that would ban boys who identify as girls from competing in school sports. Another bill eased concealed carry restrictions for handgun owners.

The vote on Senate Bill 156 was two shy of the 70 needed, and it was crushing for Republican leaders who then called the first-ever veto override session. 

The Senate voted to override the transgender sports bill, but the House did not. “That’s the process,” Cortez said.

Louisiana Democrat Sam Jenkins stated on Friday saying that he was disappointed at Thompson’s move across the aisle. He said that the change was unsurprising and that Thompson had previously caucused with the GOP. 

“While Rep. Thompson’s decision (to switch parties) is disappointing, it is not surprising. He already caucused with Republicans,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Sam Jenkins said in a written statement Friday.