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Dems 'extremely disappointed' with Griffith's switch to GOP

Montgomery, AL – Joe Turnham, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, expressed extreme disappointment and pledged new
political resolve with the
announcement today of the U.S.
Rep. Parker Griffith's decision to
switch from the Democratic
Party to the GOP.

Turnham noted that he has already had numerous phone calls from key leaders throughout the Tennessee Valley voicing their commitment to support a strong Democrat who can win the 5th Congressional District next year.

“Parker has been a friend for a number of years, but his announcement today, and the way in which he did it, deeply disappoints me," Turnham said in a prepared statement. "Democrats of every stripe and philosophy sweated and bled for this man. He narrowly became a Congressman through the hard work, votes and financial contributions of thousands of Democrats. Today, they feel betrayed.”

"Congressman Griffith, like his successful predecessor, Bud Cramer was well-positioned as a Blue Dog Democrat in the majority party in Washington to broker for his district and become the swing voice and vote for good public policy; yet, he has left his old friends for his new friends, and will ultimately find that he has no political friends left at all at the end of the day," Turnham continued.

“Alabama Democrats have a deep political bench in the 5th District and we will nominate a formidable challenger to fill this seat next year,” pledged Turnham.
"If Congressman Griffith survives a Republican Primary battle next year, he should be prepared to bring his lunch if he hopes to hold this seat in November of 2010. Our folks are motivated to right this wrong.”

The state party also called on Griffith to return the thousands of dollars of Democratic donations he has raised.
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