Native American Senator joins Republicans

Arizona State Senator Carlyle Begay

Arizona State Senator Carlyle Begay

Arizona State Senator Carlyle Begay announced on Monday he was leaving the Democratic Party for the “party of progress.” He’s now a Republican.

Begay, appointed as a Democrat in 2013 and re-elected in 2014, recently cited his colleague’s reaction to his decision to cross party lines to pass the current budget as a “tipping point.”

In a video released on Monday, Begay said it has been the Republicans who have worked with him to “improve education, jobs and infrastructure.”

Arizona state Sen. Carlyle Begay, R-Ganado, formally announces his switch from the Democratic to the Republican party at the Arizona Capitol Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Phoenix. Begay said he switched parties because the Republican platform more closely aligns with his beliefs. He said one example is the party's emphasis on self-reliance. Photo: Ross D. Franklin, AP / Fairfield Citizen Online

Sen. Carlyle Begay, R-Ganado, formally announces his switch from the Democratic to the Republican party at the Arizona Capitol Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Phoenix. Begay said he switched parties because the Republican platform more closely aligns with his beliefs. He said one example is the party’s emphasis on self-reliance. Photo: Ross D. Franklin, AP / Fairfield Citizen Online

Begay said families living within the rural and Arizona tribal communities are in a “crisis” with unemployment as high as 80 percent in some instances. The Republican Party, he said, is more equipped to address the issues.

“With an open mind and heart, I clearly see the Republican Party as a party of progress, the party of opportunity, and moving forward, my party,” he added.

Begay’s realization may be inspirational for Native Nations in Oklahoma that traditionally support Democrats regardless of how little respect or help they get in return from the party.

Watch the full video of his announcement below:

More on Begay may be found from a media report in the Fairfield Citizen Online here and an Indian Country perspective from Rex Media Group here.

(HT/TheBlaze)