A county judge in South Texas said he was ditching the Republican Party and becoming a Democrat because he could no longer tolerate what he described as the mean-spiritedness of the GOP.
Bexar County Judge Carlo Key, who is planning to seek re-election in 2014, said: “Make no mistake, I did not leave the Republican Party, it left me.”
He denounced the GOP as a party that demeaned people because of their sexual orientation, race and economic status.
“Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry,” said Key, who is 38, in a video that flashed images of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a fellow Texan and conservative Republican. “I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them.”
The refusal of many conservative Republicans to negotiate with the Obama administration on ways to end the partial government shutdown help seal Key’s decision to bolt from the party, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
“I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers,” he said, “over the vain attempt to repeal a law that would provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.”
Republican Party officials debunked his claims.
Robert Stovall, the Bexar County Republican Party chairman, told the Express-News that Key’s statements were “absolutely not true.”
He said that Republicans “hold the values that have made Texas great.”
“The American public as a whole is frustrated with a lack of leadership, and it's pure deadlock,” Stovall said, according to the newspaper. “(U.S. Sen. Ted) Cruz is doing an excellent job trying to take control, so we've got some good, solid leadership, but it's obvious that the American public is frustrated.”