Carmichael switches to Republican Party
By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
May 7, 2002
State Sen. Videt Carmichael plans to switch today to the Republican Party and then run for re-election next year under the GOP banner.
Carmichael, a Lauderdale County resident who was elected to the state Senate in 1999 as a Democrat, is expected to announce the change at 11:45 a.m. today at the Best Western Motel at a meeting of The International Singing Brakemen Association.
Carmichael's move will give the state Senate 19 Republican members for the remainder of the current four-year term. Democrats will have 33 of the Senate's 52 total seats.
In the state House, the numbers separating both political parties are more dramatic. Of the 122 House members, 86 are Democrats, 33 are Republicans and three are independents.
Legislators, state and county elected officials are up for re-election next year.
Jim Herring, state GOP chairman, said he and other party leaders welcome Carmichael. Herring and other Republicans were expected to attend Carmichael's announcement.
Officials with the state Democratic Party could not be reached for comment Monday.
Carmichael said he had been considering a switch to the Republican Party for "the last couple of years."
Carmichael said he believes the GOP is the best place for him politically. He said he sided with Republicans last year and this year in the congressional redistricting and Medicaid issues.
In redistricting, Carmichael said, he joined Republicans in supporting plans proposed by former state Sen. Henry Kirksey and Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck to redraw district lines. Both failed.