A Texas judge announced Monday his decision to leave the Republican Party and run for the state Supreme Court as a Democrat.
Larry Meyers, a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will run for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court against Republican Jeff Brown.
“Judge Meyers decision to leave the Republican Party today is big news," Battleground Texas' executive director Jenn Brown said in a statement. "It shows that the Texas GOP continues to drive Texans away with their divisive rhetoric and extreme policies. And it puts the first of what we think will ultimately be many Democrats in statewide office again."
As the Dallas Morning News notes, the party switch makes Meyers the first Democrat to hold statewide office in Texas since 1998.
In October 2011, the Morning News reported that Meyers had briefly considered switching sides, with Democrat Keith Hampton "tirelessly" lobbying the judge to change his party affiliation. However, Meyers stayed with the Republican Party until this week.
Earlier this year, another Republican judge in Texas decided to switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, citing the GOP's "pettiness and bigotry."
"Make no mistake: I have not left the Republican Party. It left me," Carlo Key, a court-at-law judge for Texas' Bexar County, said in October. "I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status."