Judge Carlo Key, the presiding judge for the Bexar, Texas County Criminal Court #11 since 2011, announced Monday that he is leaving the Republican Party and will seek re-election as a Democrat. His reason: the growing anti-LGBT extremism in the Texas GOP.
Key referenced the recent actions of San Antonio City Councilwoman Elisa Chan, a Republican candidate for Texas State Senate, who fought against a citywide employment non-discrimination law and was recorded on tape calling homosexuality “so disgusting.” San Antonio is the county seat of Bexar County.
Key explained his decision in a YouTube announcement:
I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassinations. Pragmatism and principal have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake: I have not left the Republican Party. It left me. I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status. I will not be a member of a Party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that would provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.
Watch the video:
Rather than address the substance of Key’s decision, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R) attacked Key’s move as a “a mistake,” since several Democrats have become Republicans during his tenure.