|Councillor Christine Scales|
Well, to be fair, it was a soft shift to the left.
City-County Councillor Christine Scales has announced the intention to change her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. Scales, who often has felt the effects of standing up against her party's leadership, represents part of the Northside in District 3. The move shifts the balance of power on the City-County Council to 14-11 from 13-12.
In a message on her Facebook page, Scales explained her decision further. She also told her constituents what they could expect out of her now that she will be caucusing with the Democrats, "Though I am changing my political party affiliation, I want District 3 residents to be assured that I will remain the same person they voted into office. A change in political party will not change who I am. My level of service to constituents will remain the same. The independent thinking and bi-partisanship I bring to my Council role will continue. Those qualities are why I believe voters of all political stripes have elected me to three Council terms," Scales said.
Judging from comments to her page, the response has largely been positive. There have been a few negative stragglers. Council Vice President Zach Adamson also released a statement welcoming Scales to the caucus, "Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work on issues and found her to be genuine and caring, passionate about her constituents, and will fit in perfectly within our caucus. “ Welcome Aboard, Councilor!"
In her post on Facebook, Scales was highly complimentary of Mayor Joe Hogsett who she praised for keeping his campaign promises, "Mayor Hogsett is an honorable man who campaigned on the promise of working with Council in a spirit of bi-partisanship. After a year of working under his leadership, I have found that he has honored that promise. The Mayor has remained accessible to members of both parties, has proven that he is willing to listen and lends equal consideration to viewpoints outside of his own," Scales said.
The move by Scales is a blow to the Republican Party who tried to oust Scales from their ranks in 2015. I fully believe Scales will continue to abide by her word and be the same official her district first elected in 2007. She will wear her party affiliation very lightly and vote on the issues. Still, with very moderate Republicans like Jeff Miller and Colleen Fanning on the Council, they can use every "R" they can get.