Smith switches to GOP

Published 9:56 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

Escambia County commissioner of district four Brandon Smith announced Thursday, Sept. 1 he is changing political parties switching from democrat over to the republican side of the ticket.

Smith, whose district territory encompasses portions of both Atmore and Canoe will now serve as the only republican on the five-member commission. Smith said the decision to make the change was both a political and moral determination and was not come to lightly.

“My decision to switch to the Republican Party came about through the support of my family and my constituents, and through a lot of prayer,” Smith said. “I have been extremely concerned with the direction our country has taken in the last few years. As a Christian, family man and business owner I feel that my decision is morally right and I look forward to being on the republican ticket in the 2012 elections.”

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Escambia County Republican Party Chairman Jeff Peacock said he welcomes him to the party.

“I applaud commissioner Smith’s decision to join the Republican Party,” Peacock said. “His action today is just another sign that the liberal agenda being pursued by the Democratic Party is out of touch with the conservative values of Escambia County voters.”

Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party Bill Armistead echoed Peacock’s excitement over Smith’s political conversion.

“Alabama went conservative last fall in an unprecedented way, and now we’re watching that trickle down to the county and local offices as well,” Armistead said. “Commissioner Smith is the latest of several county office-holders who have realized that the national agenda of the Democratic Party doesn’t line up with their conservative values.”

Smith himself said while he is excited about the change he would like to assure voters his decision is of a personal nature and will not modify the way in which he approaches his job.

“It’s not going to change it one bit,” Smith said. “In every decision I’ve ever made I’ve always considered the taxpayer first. I look out for the taxpayer’s dollar above anything else. I feel like if I put the citizen first before politics then I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”

In relation to now being the only Republican on the commission Smith said, considering the caliber of his fellow commissioners, he is not concerned about any fallout over his decision.

“They asked me if I felt that I’d have a harder time up there and I don’t think I will,” he said. “Whether people are on the Democrat ticket or the Republican ticket, in Brewton, Alabama everybody’s up there to do the same thing. They’re there to look out for this county. We’ve got a good bunch of people that work there and that serve the people here in the county. We’re all out to do the same thing.”

Smith, who will be up for re-election in 2012, is currently in the third year of his first term on the county commission.