SAN ANTONIO — A Texas judge announced Monday he is leaving the Republican party because he can “no longer tolerate” a party that demeans people for their sexual orientation.
Bexar County judge Carlo Key said Monday he is joining the Democratic Party as he begins his reelection campaign.
In a campaign announcement on YouTube, followed by an appearance with Democratic Party leaders, Key said the GOP is “at war with itself.”
“Make no mistake, I did not leave the Republican Party, it left me. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party, and my only hope is that more people of principle will follow me,” Key said.
“I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status,” he said.
“I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them,” added Key, a reference to former GOP San Antonio councilwoman Elisa Chan, who was recorded earlier this year telling her staffers in a meeting that homosexuality is “disgusting to even think about.”
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said “in the past few weeks, you’ve seen the ugly face of the Republican Party that is more interested in taking care of their primary base than in taking care of Americans and Texans,” reported the San Antonio Express News.
Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina said two other judges who attended a recent Democratic Party event could also make the switch in the near future, and U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas), said he expects more to follow.
“The Republican Party is catering to such a narrow ideological base,” Castro said, “and many Texans are realizing that the Democratic Party is a better choice.”