Press release, via Peach Pundit:
Atlanta-Ashley Bell, former National President for the College Democrats of America, 2004 superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention and Hall County Commissioner, will join the Republican Party tomorrow.
Bell is the first African-American elected official to switch parties.
"I'm joining the Republican Party because I'm a conservative and simply feel more at home as a Republican," said Commissioner Bell. "I have worked to make government more efficient and less intrusive in citizens' lives and plan to continue those efforts as a Republican."
Bell will make the announcement in a press conference on Thursday from the Georgia Republican Party with Georgia Republican Party Chairman Sue Everhart, state Representative Melvin Everson, Georgia Black Republican Council Chairman Michael McNeely and Rufus Montgomery.
"We are excited that Commissioner Bell will help lead the way for many other conservative African-Americans to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican Party. We welcome all conservatives with open arms," said GAGOP Chairman Sue Everhart.
"Party affiliation should not be an issue of race or geography. Mr. Bell shares the Republican Party's conservative values and belief in common sense solutions to the problems facing Georgia," Everhart said. "I am pleased to welcome such a strong and visionary leader."
- Atlanta-Journal Constitution: Black county commissioner switches parties, joins GOP
- Gainsville Times: Ashley Bell switches parties, joins GOP
- Governor-elect Nathan Deal: Ashley Bell is following a state-wide trend for conservative Democrats
His public biography follows:
Ashley D. Bell, a Hall County native, was elected in 2008 at age 27 to become Hall County's youngest ever Commissioner and one of the youngest in the State of Georgia. Mr. Bell is a graduate of Gainesville High, Valdosta State University, and attended law school at the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University. He is also honored to be a 21st Century Leadership Fellow at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Commissioner Bell is an attorney and partner at Bell & Washington, LLP practicing law throughout the State of Georgia.
Mr. Bell has been involved in politics his entire adult life being active in local, state and national politics in various capacities from policy consulting to advocacy work on behalf of all young Americans. After returning to Gainesville, Mr. Bell has obtained a wide array of community service experience with: Rotary Club of Gainesville, Family Ties, The One Community Organization (TOCO), Hall County Library Board, past member of Gainesville Parks and Recreation Board, Hall County Boys & Girls Club, Vision 2030, The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, the Gainesville Elks Lodge, the Beulah Rucker Memorial Foundation, Founder - Generation Inspiration, and Iota Phi Theta, Fraternity, Inc.
The Commissioner and his wife Lauren are members of St. Paul United Methodist Church.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).