03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Parker Griffith: Why Did This Alabama Congressman Switch Parties?

Interest in Congressman Parker Griffith has spiked today in light of the news that he plans to change his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

While many politicians before have changed party affiliation, dozens this decade alone, Griffith's plans came with some hostile reaction from both sides of the aisle.

So why did Parker Griffith switch parties?

He released this official statement today as the reason for his switch:

"I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt."

Griffith, 67, is a retired physician and small business owner, who represents Alabama's 5th congressional district. He is a freshman representative and first assumed office on Jan. 5, 2009.