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“Bombshell.” “Shocking. “Stunning.” Those were the words spreading through the halls of the Georgia State Capitol Tuesday when State Rep. Mesha Mainor announced that the Democratic Party of Georgia had abandoned her, and she was switching her party registration to Republican. “Historic” was the word tapped by Georgia GOP Chairman Josh McKoon, as he welcomed her into the state’s Republican Party.

State Rep. Mesha Mainor

“This is a historic day for Georgia Republicans,” said McKoon. “We are delighted to welcome Rep. Mainor to the Georgia Republican Party and look forward to collaborating with her to advocate on behalf of hard-working Georgians. Our Party stands for empowering parents to be advocates for giving their children the best education possible, that every Georgia deserves to feel safe at home, at work, and in school; and to have the economic opportunity to build better lives.”

Mainor, who represents House District 56 – a heavily democratic district in Atlanta – said her decision to join the GOP comes after months of thoughtful prayer and consideration in realization that the Democratic Party does not have her community’s best interest at heart. She said it was not a political decision but a moral one.

“As a lifelong Democrat…I blindly followed a vision that is far from reality. It is time to put people and sound policy above politics and false narratives.”

The breaking point, she says, came after her decision to support disadvantaged children through school choice, and her refusal to support any defunding the police efforts. “My Democrat colleagues didn’t stand by me. They crucified me. When I decided to stand up in support of safe communities and refused to support efforts to defund the police, they didn’t back me. They abandoned me.”

“For far too long, the Democrat Party has gotten away with using and abusing the black community,” she added. “For decades, the Democrat Party has received the support of more than 90 percent of the black community. And what do we have to show for it? I represent a solidly blue district in the city of Atlanta. This isn’t a political decision for me. It’s a moral one.”

Mainor worked across party lines on many issues during the 2023 legislative session, and says she plans to continue working across the aisle as a Republican “to deliver results for my community and the people I was elected to represent.”

She also said she will continue to focus on education and expanding the Republican majority in the House.

“Education and the importance of school choice has been – and will continue to be – a key focus of mine,” she said. “But outside of education, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly to tackle the most pressing issues facing our state and to help grow the Republican Party, helping us focus not just on preaching to the choir but growing the congregation.”

McKoon said in his statement that Mainor will continue her service in the General Assembly as the newest member of the House Republican Caucus effective immediately.

Congresswoman Nikema Williams, who serves as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia issued the following statement following Mainor’s announcement:

“Rep. Mesha Mainor’s switch to the GOP is a stinging betrayal of her constituents, who elected a Democrat to represent them in the state legislature. House District 56 deserves a representative who will do the job they were elected to do, including fight for high-quality public education. Georgia Democrats look forward to electing a strong Democrat next year in H.D. 56 who will serve the people, not personal political ambitions.”

School choice advocates across the state were celebrating Mainor’s decision – giving them another “advocate who is upset that the Democrats won’t get behind students.”

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