Republicans gain supermajority in La. House after longtime Democrat switches parties

Louisiana State Representative Francis Thompson
Louisiana State Representative Francis Thompson(Source: Louisiana House of Representatives)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:58 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Republican Party has gained the supermajority for the Louisiana House after longtime Democratic lawmaker switched parties after nearly 50 years.

Rep. Francis Thompson served as a Democratic lawmaker in Northeast Louisiana for almost 50 years and changed his party registration on Friday, March 17.

Thompson becomes the 70th Republican member in the state house. The GOP already had a supermajority in the state Senate.

“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, 81, said.

In 2021, Thompson joined Republicans as the only Democrat to call for the state’s first veto override session, under the state’s 50-year-old constitution, with the hopes of overturning Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ rejection of bills that would ban transgender girls from school sports and remove restrictions on concealed handguns.

“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.

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