A Texas judge puts the blame squarely on Tea Party Republican rhetoric for his decision to run for re-election as a Democrat in a campaign video he released on Sunday.
“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination,” Bexar County Judge Carlo Key says in the video, over shots of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers. “Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”
The video also shows San Antonio City Council member Elisa Chan, who was caught making disparaging remarks about the LGBT community in reponse to a proposed expansion of the city’s non-discrimination policy.
Despite her opposition to the measure, the expansion was approved by the council on Sept. 5. Chan has subsequently announced she will run for a state Senate seat in the March 2014 elections.
“I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office, rather than disqualifying them” Key says. “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 over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country.”
The Austin Chronicle reported that Key’s video follows his appearance at an event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.
“I’m proud to welcome Carlo today,” state Democratic Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement on Sunday. “Our party – the Texas Democratic Party – welcomes anyone ready to fight for a better future for all Texans.”
Watch Keys’ video, as published on Sunday, below.