State Rep. Walker Hines seemed like he was in a hurry this morning as he grabbed a quick beverage at a coffee shop in Broadmoor and drove away in a black Cadillac Escalade. Shortly thereafter, this Times-Picayune news story broke:
State Rep. Walker Hines of New Orleans announced today that he is switching his party affiliation from Democrat [sic] to Republican, making the GOP the majority party in a legislative chamber for the first time in modern Louisiana history.
The announcement by Hines came hours after he said he is strongly mulling a run for secretary of state in 2011.
“Like most Louisianians, my discontent with the Democratic Party has grown over the past few years,” Hines said in a written statement. “This move is not about political expediency but rather my own principled philosophy.”
Three years ago, Hines courted the support of New Orleans bloggers during his first run for office. Hines wrote to bloggers Ray Shea and Ashley Morris claiming, among other things:
I will do everything in my power to prove to others that I have never overlooked where I came from and why I am where I am today. I spent a lot of time to write this e-mail and am seeking your support and endorsement. You will be pleasantly surprised by my passion, personality, background, and voting record. Unlike my opponent who tells you whatever you want to hear, I will never sacrifice my principles for popularity. I’m a progressive Democrat who believes in the Catholic values of social justice. Please work with me.
It’s good to see such unwavering principle. One can only assume that Hines feels his adamantine “progressive” values are now a better fit in the state GOP, rather than the disappointing Dems. I look forward to the spectacle of Hines campaigning for higher office as a progressive Republican.