Eight elected public officials, six Democrats, and two Independents are being welcomed into the Mississippi Republican Party.

Lucien Smith, the Mississippi Republican Party Chairman, believes he may be welcoming more new members to the GOP.

Smith said, “We have had a relentless focus on switching conservative Democrats over to the Republican party.”

“They recognize increasingly that there is only one party that represents the conservative values of our state and that is the Republican party,” Smith added.

One former Democrat to join the GOP is Matt Sullivan a District Attorney for the Thirteenth Circuit Court District (Covington, Jasper, Simpson and Smith Counties).

Sullivan said, “It’s a new day in Mississippi.”

From NBC News:

All eight of the latest party switchers were from Smith and Covington Counties and one District Attorney whose district covers those areas.

But the conservation didn’t take long to expand to the national party ties.

“We are in a scenario in this country where you can choose to be a member of the party led by Donald J. Trump or you can choose to be a member of the socialist Democratic party led by Bernie Sanders,” noted Governor Tate Reeves.

Millsaps Department of Government and Politics chair Dr. Nathan Shrader says given the GOP sweep in statewide offices last year and the approval rating for Donald Trump, it opens the door to this.

“They have a plausible argument to make with these elected officials that your constituent are already aligning with us, the voting patterns in your district are moving in our direction, you should join the team too,” said Dr. Shrader.

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