Two Georgia Democrats Switch Parties - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/08/02

Two Georgia Democrats Switch Parties

Perdue in Savannah. Perdue in Savannah.

After winning the governor's race for the first time in 130 years, Georgia republicans are now celebrating an unprecedented majority. Today, two democratic state senators announced they're switching parties. State senator Dan Lee from Lagrange and state senator Don Cheeks of Augusta both announced they're changing over to the republican party. That strips the Democratic Party of its majority in the senate, splitting the balance of power 28 to 28.

Both senators announced their decisions during governor-elect Sonny Perdue's victory tour. Perdue is making his way around the state to thank supporters and talk about his plans. Perdue says the senators' switch is not about party lines. As a former democrat himself, he's calling for bipartisan support to govern Georgia.

Perdue arrived before an excited crowd in Savannah. But it wasn't just republicans who are coming out to support him. The governor-elect is garnering support from both parties, including state senators Jack Hill and Regina Thomas.

Thomas told us, "We're going to have to work together to make things better for Georgia and better for all of us."

"We're going to work with people who want to work with us for the good of Georgia," declared Perdue. "I don't care what they look like. I don't care what kind of initials are behind their name. If they want the best for Georgia, I want them on my team."

And Perdue's team is growing. As far as Lee and Cheeks, the governor-elect had high praise for both men, but said it's their principles, not their party, that mattered.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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