Appropriations chairman switches to the GOP
BATON ROUGE - The chairman of the House budget-writing committee has become a Republican.
Rep. Jim Fannin, of Jonesboro, says he switched to the GOP on Wednesday because he believes the Democratic Party no longer represents his political views or his constituents' views on issues like marriage, gun rights and abortion.
Fannin says he had been a Democrat his entire adult life. But he says the party is "not where I am politically or spiritually."
The three-term lawmaker says his party switch won't change how he leads the House Appropriations Committee, which crafts the annual budget and reviews spending plans for agencies.
Fannin says the jump to the Republican Party wasn't prompted by Gov. Bobby Jindal or GOP leadership. He says he didn't talk to them before he changed his registration.