RALEIGH — N.C. Rep. William Brisson has officially switched teams in the N.C. Legislature, announcing his decision Wednesday to change his political party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Long a Democrat, Brisson was elected unopposed in November 2016 for the N.C. House of Representatives’ District 22 seat. A farmer by trade, he represents Sampson, Bladen and a small portion of Johnston. He is currently in his sixth term. The party change was noted on the N.C. General Assembly website as of late Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday morning, following Brisson’s announcement, North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin released a statement praising Brisson as an “honest public servant” but said the party switch does little to change much as Brisson already votes with the GOP the majority of the time.
“Representative Brisson is an honest public servant, but one who rarely caucuses with Democrats and votes more than nine out of 10 times with the Republican majority,” Goodwin stated. “Our party remains committed to fighting for every seat possible in order to retake the majority by 2020. Under fairer maps in 2018, we are confident we will break the Republican supermajority.”
Since 2011, Brisson has voted with the Republican majority 92 percent of the time. Brisson has consistently caucused with Republicans, voting with the Republican majority more than nine out of 10 times (92 percent) since they took power in 2011.
“Our goal is to provide Governor Cooper with a Democratic Caucus that will stand with him in fighting to improve education, grow the economy, and ensure North Carolinians are ready for the jobs available today and created tomorrow,” Goodwin’s statement continued. “Today’s news does not change the calculus needed to reach that goal.”
According to Goodwin, Brisson represents the reddest Democratic-held seat in North Carolina. District 22 seat has consistently voted for Republican national candidates, “and has gotten more conservative over time,” he stated. In 2012, the district voted 56 percent to 44 percent for Romney. In 2016, the district voted 59 percent to 40 percent in favor of Trump.
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