A judge from Bexar County, Texas, has decided to run for re-election under a Democratic ticket, placing blame on the “pettiness and bigotry” of Tea Party Republicans for his decision.
In a video released on October 20, Judge Carlo Key says, “Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”
“Justice can only be served without prejudice towards race, color, creed, or whom you choose to love,” says Key. “I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, or their economic status.”
The video shows shots of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers, as well as San Antonio City Council member Elisa Chan.
Chan made several anti-LGBT remarks while discussing a proposed expansion of the city’s non-discrimination policy with her staff members back in May.
“Whatever you want to do in your bedroom is none of my business, but do not impose your view on other people, especially becoming policy,” said Chan. “Because personally, I think it’s just disgusting just to even think about.”
The remarks were secretly recorded by one of her staffers, James Stevens, who resigned from his position after accusing Chan of only caring about her political future.
Despite Chan’s opposition, the expansion was approved by the council on September 5.
“I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office, rather than disqualifying them,” Key says in the video. “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 will provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country.”
Judge Key’s website has been updated to reflect his changed position under the “About Carlo Key” section.
“Today, following his principles and values, he has decided to switch political parties and run for re-election as a Democrat,” reads the biography. It goes on to describe how Key was born into poverty in a small East Texas town, and overcame numerous obstacles growing up: how his father had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, and by the age of 7, Key took over the primary household duties and began working at the age of 9.
“Judge Key learned resilience and compassion for those who are victims of circumstance…His experiences from childhood to the courtroom will ensure that all who come to his courtroom will be treated equally before the law and with the dignity they deserve.”
“I’m proud to welcome Carlo today,” state Democratic Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement on Sunday. “Our party—the Texas Democratic Party—welcomes anyone ready to fight for a better future for all Texans.”