When Rep. Parker Griffith (the brand-new R-AL) switched parties today, he increased the number of candidates he has to face before getting reelected by a factor of three.
Both Republicans who were already vying for the chance to face Griffith in the general election next year say they’ll stay in, eager to square off against Griffith sooner rather than later. And in a fiery statement this afternoon, the state Democratic party promised to find a new candidate to run for the seat.The better-funded of the two Republicans in the race, Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks, reached out to the NRCC months before Griffith made his announcement, according to Politico. He’s raised $116,000 so far, and his campaign manager says Brooks is ready to take on the newest member of Alabama’s Republican congressional delegation.
“We’ve known for a long time that Parker Griffith’s principles are either for sale to the highest bidder or can change depending on how the poll results are looking,” the manager told Politico.
The other Republican in the race, former Navy Aviator Les Philip, has raised $31,000. But he told Dave Weigel today that’s he’s staying in, too.
“The question is the same question you ask in a court case,” Phillip told Weigel. “When someone lied before, and now says he’s telling the truth, well: Was he lying then, or is he lying now?”
State Democrats are having the same thought. In a statement released this afternoon, state Democratic chair Joe Turnham said good riddance to Griffith and promised to run a new Democratic candidate against him.
“Parker has been a friend for a number of years, but his announcement today, and the way in which he did it, deeply disappoints me,” Turnham said. “Democrats of every stripe and philosophy sweated and bled for this man. He narrowly became a Congressman through the hard work, votes and financial contributions of thousands of Democrats. Today, they feel betrayed.”
Turnham suggested Democrats will be eager to defeat the man they feel turned on them.
“If Congressman Griffith survives a Republican Primary battle next year, he should be prepared to bring his lunch if he hopes to hold this seat in November of 2010” he said. “Our folks are motivated to right this wrong.”