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story.lead_photo.caption State Rep. Mike Holcomb of Pine Bluff says during a news conference Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, that he's leaving the Democratic Party and will seek re-election as a Republican. - Photo by Sara Janak

State Rep. Mike Holcomb of Pine Bluff is leaving the Democratic Party and will seek re-election as a Republican.

“I believe it’s my job to represent the views of those who have elected me, and I can best represent them by being a Republican,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb announced the party switch at a news conference Thursday afternoon with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, House Majority Leader Ken Bragg and Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb.

He said his views deviate from the Democratic Party’s positions on abortion and same-sex marriage and that he believes his values align more with the Republican Party’s. He thanked Hutchinson for his move to defund Planned Parenthood and reaffirmed his support for traditional marriage.

Holcomb said he’s “always run as a conservative” despite being a member of the Democratic Party. His views and values haven’t changed, but the Democratic Party has changed, he said.

Hutchinson said the national Democratic Party has “subsumed” the state Democratic Party. “They used to make the case that there’s a difference,” Hutchinson said, but members can’t anymore, citing the Arkansas Democratic Party’s decision to defend Planned Parenthood.

Holcomb is the first state legislator to leave the Democratic Party since November, when a GOP majority took over statewide offices, but Webb said there may be other Democrats looking to switch parties soon.

“We’re now starting to see others looking at running as Republicans this fall,” Webb said, but did not elaborate when asked who else might change parties.

Holcomb represents District 10, which includes parts of of Lincoln, Cleveland, Grant, Drew and Jefferson counties. He was first elected to the House in 2012 and re-elected last year.

Republicans currently hold a majority in the Arkansas House and Senate with 63 of the 100 seats in the House. The current makeup of the state House is 63 Republicans, 36 Democrats and one Independent.

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  • TheAntiBrummett
    August 20, 2015 at 11:32 a.m.

    Warwick Sabin. NOT!

  • Packman
    August 20, 2015 at 11:42 a.m.

    Who's Warwick Sabin?

  • mitchstoner
    August 20, 2015 at 12:25 p.m.

    What's in a name, anyway? Or as a prominent Dem, would say, "What does it matter, at this point?"

    The Republicans are as likely to disgust me as Democrats, I'm sorry to say.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    August 20, 2015 at 12:46 p.m.

    Let em all switch for all I care. This state is going so far into right field that it is nearly invisable.

    August 20, 2015 at 1:49 p.m.

    Agreed, at this point what difference does it make, Arkansas has been taken over by the Republican Carpetbaggers and the only way it is headed is Downhill. Sad state of affairs. Many will get a lesson from this, But I seriously doubt a Lesson will be learned, Christian Bigotry is Set in pretty deep down in the Red States, Retards and Bigots generally make the Wrong Choices at Election Time.

  • John2001
    August 20, 2015 at 2:51 p.m.

    Just curious as to exactly is going happen now. At the end of the day what is really going to change in your life beartrap?

  • Packman
    August 20, 2015 at 3:48 p.m.

    "Red States, Retards and Bigots" More compassion and caring from a typical liberal who uses the hateful slur "Retards" without reservation. Just one more reason I am glad to call myself a conservative.
    Just curious, BEARTRAP, do you throw around the "n" word as casually as you use the hateful slur "retard"?

    August 20, 2015 at 5:01 p.m.

    Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.
    Packman I'd love to read your biography to see what makes people like you. That much self righteous indignation along with no capacity for compassion coupled with a basic hatred towards women makes me think your childhood must have been right there with Norman Bates or Jeffery Dahmer.

  • mrcharles
    August 20, 2015 at 5:07 p.m.

    WHAT WORD WAS IT THAT fat man rush used that didnt cause a flap?
    LIMBAUGH: Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards. I mean these people, these liberal activists are kooks. They are looney tunes. And I’m not going to apologize for it

    Seemed to have missed your indignation back then Mr. Sea Bass on word retard. Go and sin no more.
    I would say have you ever thought the N word? remember that is a sin. Of course you will never answer that question.

    Agree the state is mostly red and stupid

  • GrimReaper
    August 20, 2015 at 5:40 p.m.

    But I seriously doubt a Lesson will be learned, Leftist Bigotry is Set in pretty deep down in the Democrat Party, Retards and Bigots generally make the Wrong Choices at Election Time.
    PS: They certainly did in '08 and '12.............