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Party Hopping: Sen. Ward Switch Signals GOP Power

In the latest bit of news from the legislature, yet another Senate Democrat has announced his move to the other side of the aisle. Following Sen. Elbert Guillory's very public switch, Senator Rick Ward has now also left the Democratic Party and declared himself a Republican. Along with his new affiliation, Ward is also giving the GOP (almost) complete control of state government.


After radio appearances earlier this week, Sen. Ward, who lives in the Iberville Parish town of Maringouin, gave a brief thanks for the support of the party and informing his constituents.


"Thank you for all of the support regarding my switch to the Republican Party," the now Republican Senator wrote on Facebook. "I greatly appreciate it. I feel this is the right thing for me and the values I hold strong, as well as those that you, my constituents, maintain as well."


Sen. Ward then went on to quote the oft-quoted Republican President Ronald Reagan, about following guiding stars, and leading us to wiser truths. Ward represents the 17th Senate District,  encompassing much of St. Helena, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Assumption and St. Martin Parishes. He is also the Vice-Chair on the Natural Resources Committee.


With this switch, Republicans now control two-thirds of the Senate.This large percentage, also called a super-majority, means that if a vote were to simply follow party lines, Republicans could win a vote, without any cooperation from their Democrat comrades (note: there are no independents in the Louisiana State Senate).


Louisiana State Republicans also control the House, with 56 percent. In fact, they are only seven seats away from a supermajority in that branch of legislature as well, which could grant total control of both houses and the Governor's seat for the state of Louisiana to a single party.



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