The staff of Parker Griffith, a first-time congressman who announced his decision to change party affiliation from Democratic to Republican before Christmas, have tendered their resignation in a sign of protest.
Two weeks ago, Griffith explained that he has "become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies pushed by the current Democratic leadership are not good for north Alabama or our nation," and that they no longer represented his values and convictions.
However, on Monday morning some 11 members of the representative’s staff—including his chief of staff, legislative director and press secretary—expressed their disappointment by announcing they would quit and suggested Griffith misled the voters who elected him believing him to be a Democrat.
"Alabama’s Fifth District has deserved and has benefited from great Democratic conservative leadership since Reconstruction," said Sharon Wheeler, Griffith’s chief of staff, adding that the representative "has abandoned the legacy of conservative leadership," and the staffers "cannot, in good conscience, continue working for him."
According to media reports, the 67-year-old lawmaker’s campaign consulting team has also said they would resign.
With Griffith’s switch, Democrats will hold 257 House seats and the GOP will have 178. The congressman’s move is said to have been motivated by his desire to increase his reelection chances in 2010.