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Last updated 4:35PM ET
February 25, 2021
State Senator Plans to Switch Parties
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - State Senator Jimmy Holley of Elba has voted like a Republican since 2003. Now he's officially becoming one.

Holley, who is 63, is scheduled to announce at 6 p.m. Thursday night in Enterprise that he is leaving the Democratic Party. Governor Bob Riley, Attorney General Troy King and other GOP officials planned to attend to welcome Holley to their party.

The change means there will be 13 Republicans and 22 Democrats in the Senate - the most GOP members since 1998.

The House has 61 Democrats and 43 Republicans, with one vacant seat to be filled in a special election January 29th. The seat was previously held by Democrat Neal Morrison of Cullman.

Holley is one of Alabama's longest serving legislators. He was elected to his third term in the Senate in 2006. He previously served five terms in the House. The district stretches across Coffee, Covington, Dale and Houston counties.

Senate Republicans said they are also trying to convert two other Democratic senators who usually vote with them: Tom Butler of Madison and Jim Preuitt of Talladega.

Jess Brown, a political scientist at Athens State University, said the change won't affect the voting divide in the Democrat-dominated Senate because Holley has been voting with the GOP minority.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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