An unnoticed party switch has left Republicans in the state House with one fewer member.
State Rep. Jim Morris of Oil City in northwest Louisiana switched from Republican to independent a year ago, Morris confirmed in an interview Tuesday. It caused no substantive impact on the 2019 legislative session.
His move means that the House has 61 Republicans, 39 Democrats and five independents. Those numbers will change with the House (and Senate) elections this fall.
Morris switched with so little public notice that the House legislative website lists the breakdown as 62 Republicans, 39 Democrats and four independents.
The Advocate reported incorrectly on Monday that the Louisiana House contains 61 Republicans, 40 Democrats and four independents.
Morris, 65, is a well-regarded conservative who is term-limited after 12 years in the House. He is not seeking another political office.
Morris said he made the change during the 2018 legislative session and didn’t attend Republican Party meetings during the 2019 session.
“I didn’t publicize it,” Morris said, adding that he made the change in his home Caddo Parish. “I didn’t go beat any drums. I just got out. It was a personal decision on my part. It had absolutely nothing to do with national politics.”
Morris, who had always been a Republican, declined to elaborate on his decision.