Republicans welcome Brown in party switch

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lincoln County Republicans welcomed another local official into the fold Monday when District Four Supervisor Eddie Brown announced he has switched to the GOP from the Democratic Party.

     With the move, Brown becomes the first Republican supervisor in the history of Lincoln County, said John Roberts, chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Executive Committee.

     “I believe it’s a good decision I’ve made,” said Brown, who is serving as the board’s vice president, during a conference at Roberts’ office Monday morning.

     Mississippi 3rd District U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper was on hand to welcome Brown.

     Harper said Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop blazed the trail for local officials to follow in switching to the Republican Party. The congressman also commented on recent Republican progress locally and statewide.

     “The way it’s changed in the last five years is remarkable,” Harper said.

     He was hopeful Brown would not be the only official to switch.

     “There’s room for more,” Harper said.

     Brown previously served as a supervisor from 1988-1991 and was elected again last year. He ran both times as a Democrat.

     When contacted, state Democratic Party Executive Director Rickey Cole echoed comments made when other officials have changed parties.

     “We regret the decision of any elected official to mislead the voters by switching parties,” Cole said.

     However, Brown said the Democratic Party has staked out positions on a number of issues that he found objectionable. He mentioned gay marriage and abortion.

     “I just couldn’t go along with that. I couldn’t support that,” Brown said.

     Therefore, he said he felt he had to make a move.

     “I felt like it was best that I change, and best for my district,” Brown said. “I hope some of my colleagues will change.”

     Brown touched on the school prayer controversy currently going on surrounding West Lincoln Attendance Center. He said prayer in school should not be an issue.

     “We’ve got a good school at West Lincoln,” said Brown while also complimenting Principal Jason Case. “I support him 100 percent.”

     Bishop said supervisors and other officials have to consider their situations when deciding on party affiliation.

     “Each of them has to do what they feel is best for their political careers,” said Bishop, who expected no changes in his interactions with the board. “I’m enjoying working with him and I expect to continue to enjoy working with him and the other four (supervisors).”

     Roberts said he was proud to have the first Lincoln County supervisor join the Republican Party. He mentioned Bishop’s change and Justice Court Judge Chris King’s election as a Republican and, like Harper, he was hopeful for more.

     “We’ll take it one step at a time,” Roberts said.