By SUE WATSON
Byhalia Mayor Scooter Dempsey announced Monday he is changing parties. He did so in ceremonies at the meeting room at Northcentral Mississippi Electric Power Association with friends and Republican Party members present.
Jim Herring, chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, was on hand for the announcement.
In a prepared statement, Dempsey said it is about time he stepped out and took a stand on his beliefs.
First of all, I would like to take this time to praise all of you for your efforts and holding steadfast in your beliefs when you were drastically outnumbered, he said. I know as a rule, mayors tend not to announce their party association; it seems to help us ride the fence so to speak.
I just felt it was time in my career for everyone to know who I am, what I stand for and what my beliefs are. I am truly excited to announce today that I am associated with the Republican Party, which not only recognizes Christianity, integrity, and character, the basis in which our wonderful country was founded on, but you embrace it. These traits are why I am proud to announce that I am a Republican.
Herring said the Mississippi Republican Party grows when there is strong leadership at the local level. He encouraged the town board of aldermen to follow Dempseys lead.
Mayor, you are changing parties today in a proud tradition ... Ronald Reagan started, Herring said.
Herring, chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party five years, said he also changed parties.
Hopefully, you can serve as another example, Herring said speaking to Dempsey.
He said Dempsey stands with several other mayors who have switched to the Republican Party in recent times.
Its important for us to maintain the confidence of the people, said Herring. Our goal is to elect Republicans. Our job is to be your support group. You can call on us. We look forward to your coming election and possibly moving up the ladder to more important positions.
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