Skip to main content CNN.com allpolitics.com
allpolitics.com
EDITIONS:
*

MULTIMEDIA:

E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:

SERVICES:
CNN Mobile

CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites

DISCUSSION:

SITE INFO:

CNN NETWORKS:
CNN International

TIME INC. SITES:

WEB SERVICES:

Party switchers, past and present

From CNN Political Unit

Current members of Congress who switched parties after joining Congress: 9 total -- 5 in the Senate, 4 in the House

U.S. SENATE
Five party switchers currently serving:
• Sen. Strom Thurmond (South Carolina) -- Democrat to GOP, (9/16/64)
• Sen. Phil Gramm (Texas) -- Democrat to GOP (1/5/83), switched while a member of the House
• Sen. Richard Shelby (Alabama) -- Democrat to GOP (11/9/94)
• Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Colorado) -- Democrat to GOP (3/3/95)
• Sen. Bob Smith (New Hampshire) -- GOP to Independent (7/13/99); Independent to GOP (11/1/1999)

U.S. HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES
Four party switchers currently serving
•  Rep. Bob Stump (Arizona) -- Democrat to GOP (9/24/81)
•  Rep. Nathan Deal (Georgia) -- Democrat to GOP (4/10/95)
•  Rep. Billy Tauzin (Lousiana) -- Democrat to GOP (8/6/95)
•  Rep. Virgil Goode (Virginia) -- GOP to Independent (1/24/00)

Past party switchers (including those listed above as currently serving)

SENATE
•  Seventeen senators have officially switched parties since 1893 (not counting Sen. La Follette Sr. as a switch in 1924, see below)
•  First and most recent time a Republican Senator switched to Democrat was in 1901 (Sen. Fred Dubois of Idaho)
•  Sen. Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin in 1924 was a Republican senator,ran for president as a Progressive, but never officially switched parties
•  Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire, in 1999 (GOP to Independent, switched back to GOP in 2000)
•  Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, in 1995 Democrat to GOP
•  Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, in 1994 Democrat to GOP
•  Sen. Harry Byrd Jr. of Virginia, in 1971 (Democrat to Independent)
•  Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, in 1964. Democrat to GOP
•  Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon, in 1952 (GOP to Independent, In 1955, he switched from Independent to the Democrat).
•  Sen. Henrik Shipstead of Minnesota in 1941 (Farmer-Labor to GOP)
•  Sen. George Norris of Nebraska in 1937 GOP to Independent
•  Sen. Robert La Follette Jr. of Wisconsin in 1935 (GOP to Progressive)
•  Sen. Miles Poindexter of Washington in 1913 (GOP to Progressive) and 1915 (Progressive to GOP)
•  Sen. Fred Dubois of Idaho in 1901 GOP to Democrat
•  Sen. Frank Cannon of Utah in 1896 (GOP to "Silver Republican")
•  Sen. Richard Pettigrew of S. Dakota in 1896 (GOP to "Silver Republican")
•  Sen. Lee Mantle of Montana in 1896 (GOP to "Silver Republican")
•  Sen. Henry Teller of Colorado in 1896 (GOP to "Silver Republican"); and 1901 ("Silver Republican" to Democrat)
•  Sen. John P. Jones of Nevada in 1895 (GOP to "Silver") and 1901 ("Silver" to GOP)
•  Sen. William M. Stewart of Nevada in 1893 (GOP to "Silver") and 1901 ("Silver" to GOP)

HOUSE
•  Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia, in 1/24/2000. (Democrat to Independent, leaning GOP)
•  Rep. Matthew Martinez of California (7/26/2000) (Democrat to GOP after being defeated in the Democratic primary)
•  Rep. Michael Forbes of New York, in 1999, GOP to Democrat
•  Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia, (4/10/1995) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Greg Laughlin of Texas, (6/26/1995) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana, (8/6/1995) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Mike Parker of Mississippi (11/10/1995) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Jimmy Hayes of Louisiana (12/1/1995) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Tommy Robinson of Arkansas, (7/28/1989) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Bill Grant of Florida, (2/21/1989) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Andy Ireland of Florida, (7/5/1984) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Phil Gramm of Texas, (1/5/1983) Democrat to GOP while in House, later elected to Senate as a Republican
•  Rep. Eugene Atkinson, of Pennsylvania, (10/14/1981) Democrat to GOP
•  Rep. Bob Stump of Arizona (9/24/1981) Democrat to GO

Sources: U.S. Senate Historical Office, U.S. House Legislative Resource Center, Congressional Quarterly








RELATED SITES:
See related sites about Allpolitics
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

ALLPOLITICS TOP STORIES:

 Search   

Back to the top