A Latino Republican judge in Bexar County, Texas has been making waves after announcing in a campaign ad on Monday that he is leaving the GOP and running for re-election as a Democrat.
Judge Carlo Key, a self-proclaimed moderate, told MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton, “The Republican party just doesn’t represent my core values anymore.” Key said that on some issues he is a moderate and on others he is more conservative.
Since Key’s 2010 election as a Republican, he said he noticed a transformation in the party that has left it fractured. Following a government shutdown and a fight to defund the Affordable Care Act, led in large part by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Key says that he became “extremely disappointed” in his party and had to “really look at what my core values were.”
The Latino Republican explained to Sharpton that he grew up poor and couldn’t stand by while the GOP fought a law that aims to provide millions of uninsured Americans a chance at health insurance; instead the GOP fought against it with a government shutdown.
“I understand how important that kind of assistance is. Had it not been for the government when I was a child, I probably would not be in the place that I am now,” said Key.
Judge Key added that as the Republican party continues to be dominated by the Tea Party, more moderates like himself will switch parties. He told MSNBC he has been receiving messages from other Republicans saying his story is their story too.
“As the smallest minds continue to make the loudest noise in the Republican Party, true leaders will be driven by their principles and values to become Texas Democrats,” said Key in his campaign video.