Congressman Parker Griffith announces party change

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Freshman Congressman Parker Griffith made the announcement Tuesday that he will be switching parties from Democrat to Republican. He serves the Huntsville area.

Griffith, an oncologist who founded a cancer center, says he is against the current version of the health care bill, which factored into his switch.

"As the 111th congress has progressed, I have become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies pushed by the current democratic leadership are not good for the people of North Alabama or for our nation," says Griffith. "More importantly, they do not represent my values and convictions." reports Griffith also disagrees with the Obama Administration's decision to abandon a missile defense shield in Europe, which could have benefitted Huntsville's defense industry.

The Alabama Democratic Party is asking Griffith to return thousands of dollars of Democratic donations that he accepted.

There has been plenty of reaction in the political world to Griffith's midterm switch. Congressman Artur Davis, a democrat, says "While I will continue to respect and work with Congressman Griffith, his decision repudiates the hard work of many Democrats who sustained him during his election to two high offices."

Reports say Republican Senator Jeff Sessions played a role in convincing Griffith to switch. Sessions says "As a republican, he will be affirmed in his concerns about reckless spending and governmental overreach, rather than being ostracized for them. We welcome him with open arms."