Griffith files party swap paperwork as 2010 race heats up - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Griffith files party swap paperwork as 2010 race heats up

By Jeanie Powell - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - US Rep. Parker Griffith took care of the business end of switching to the Republican Party Wednesday by filing certain paperwork.

On Wednesday morning, he filed his resignation papers with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. This move means he gave up his committee appointments and the GOP Steering Committee will reassign him new ones.

Of course, what's piquing Griffith's interest are the Appropriations and Armed Services committees - the committees that he said he feels would best serve Congressional District 5.

His decision to change parties made national news headlines. Griffith said it's a decision that he will stick with.

Voters have mixed emotions on the party switch, as well as lawmakers who served with him in the state legislature.

Alabama Rep. Mike Ball said he thinks Griffith's decision is good news for the Republican Party. However, state Sen. Arthur Orr responded to Griffith's decision when he got a phone call from the Congressman by saying, "Parker, I'm looking at my calendar and I don't see that it's April Fools today. Are you serious?"

Gov. Bob Riley gave Griffith a phone call to welcome him on board the Republican Party. Click here to read how both parties reacted.

While Griffith's predecessor, Bud Cramer, hasn't commented, everyone said they think the 5th District primary in June will be interesting.

Some Democratic politicians have started considering running for the seat in Congress. Public Service Commissioner Susan Parker from Rogersville said that several people called her Tuesday to encourage her to run for the House seat.

Parker says she will take time over the holidays before announcing her decision. She has already announced plans to seek re-election to the state Public Service Commission. 

Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks also said he has not ruled out a run for the 5th Congressional District. He said he's still planning to run for governor, but will talk to several people over the coming days before making a final decision.

Two Republicans have already announced their campaigns for the 5th Congressional District. Mo Brooks and Les Phillips intend to run against Griffith for the nomination.

Open qualifying starts on Jan. 16 and runs through April 2.

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