Jun 18, 2013 11:50 PM by Erin Steuber

LA Senator Guillory Defends His Party Switch

State Senator Elbert Guillory is speaking out about his decision to switch from democrat to republican. Some have called it a bold move, but Guillory disputes that.

In a video posted on Youtube, Guillory explains his rationale for making the switch, which is something he's done before. Guillory was previously a republican and served on the Republican State Central Committee. He switched to the Democratic Party prior to his election to the State House of Representatives in 2007.

So what's behind the switch this time around?

In a Youtube video released Sunday, Guillory says his shuffle among party lines mainly has to do with race lines.

"We needed some more chocolate in the Republican Party and I bring that to it," said Guillory.

KATC's Erin Steuber caught up with Guillory Tuesday, who expanded on that, saying his decision was also based on the core values of the Democratic Party and politics.

"Today ever state-wide elected official is a republican," said Guillory. "So for my community, for my district, in order to represent them, I needed to be where the power is, at the seats of power and decision making."

"In some sense Guillory's statements (in the Youtube video) are very inflammatory," said KATC's Political Analyst Pearson Cross. "In some ways and I don't think it's going to sit particularly well amongst the African-American community."

Cross says Guillory's latest move is unique, and it will be interesting to see how voters react. Guillory is up for re-election in 2015 and says he has not committed to running for any other office.

"I agree that the change puts me in a better position to run for higher office," said Guillory. "I have not committed, I really have not committed, to running for any other office than the senate."

Those with the Louisiana Democratic Party say it's no love lost, they say they're better off without Guillory.

"Senator Guillory does not stand for anything," said Bambi Polotzola. "He changes and I think that his change will prove to democrats and republicans that he just flip flops, back and forth. He has no convictions and people in this area, and state, need representation of conviction to be able to move our state forward."



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