POSTED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 6:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:23am
JACKSONVILLE-So far the midterm election line-ups are taking an interesting turn for democrats across the country. Democrats who were thought to be shoe-ins are not running. So have the parties changed?
Political winds are changing and now East Texas is becoming a microcosm of what seems to be going on everywhere.
In the past few months, the face of politics in Washington has virtually been turned upside down. Congressional and senate democrats are either going red or going into an early retirement. The latest to go this week, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana.
This trend among democrats not only is being seen in Washington, but with democratic leaders across the nation.
After serving for the last five state sessions as a democrat, last November Representative Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville shocked many by switching sides.
Today he's running for his sixth-term on the republican ticket.
"East Texas is very conservative and the current administration that we have in Washington and the current congress don't reflect the vision that my constituents have for the state of Texas and that includes me too," Rep. Hopson told KETK.
Though some believe this is a move he made just for the sake of keeping his seat in Austin, he insists that his past voting record has always been the same as most republicans and that he's contemplated this decision for some time now.
"There are 78 Republicans in the house right now, 62 of those have endorsed me," he said.
Now with the retirement of some state democrats and Representative Hopson's switch, democrats now find themselves looking up at a 72-78 deficit in the house. Some insiders say democrats have been leaking rural seats for some time now and Representative Hopson is just the most recent to jump ship.
Representative Hopson does have some competition for his seat. Michael Banks and Ellen Cain are also running in District 11 as republicans. But Representative Hopson says he's confident that the people who've supported him in the past will continue to support him. He also went on to say that as a republican now, he'll be able to get more done for his constituents.