The state Democrats released a statement today [.doc] which said, in part:
“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. 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,” [state Party Chair Joe] Turnham said.
“Alabama Democrats have a deep political bench in the 5th District and we will nominate a formidable challenger to fill this seat next year. 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. Our folks are motivated to right this wrong,” Turnham stated.
The state party also called on Parker Griffith to return the thousands of dollars of Democratic donations he has raised.
Rep. Mike Hubbard, State GOP Chair, also issued a statement today [.doc]:
“It was a pleasant surprise when Congressman Griffith called me this morning to inform me that he is leaving the Democrats to become a Republican. However, it is not a surprise that Griffith realized the Democrat Party has now become more liberal than ever – making Obama, Reid and Nancy Pelosi the gifts that keep on giving for the Republican Party.
I challenge Democrats running in 2010 to make a choice. Do you want to stand with us and fight the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Administration, or do you want to stand with them and defend them? It’s a choice Parker Griffith made today.”