Updated 07/22/2023 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Georgia State Representative Mesha Mainor is sticking by her decision to switch political parties. Last Tuesday, State Representative Mesha Mainor announced that she was leaving the Democratic party for the GOP. The move makes Mainor the first Black woman to serve as a Republican in the Georgia General Assembly. It also means that voters in her deep-blue Atlanta district will now be represented by a Republican.
In an interview with Politico’s Brakkton Booker, Mainor claimed that her constituents still support her. “My constituents, we have a relationship. They’re saying to me: “I still support you.” They’re texting and emailing me to say, “I still support you,” Mainor told Politico.
Prior to switching parties, Mainor told Axios that she would never abandon the Democrats. But now she’s singing a different tune. “When I came into politics, I was a Democrat. That is all I knew. That’s what the majority of us Black folks know; we just know how to be a Democrat,” she said. “So now I am a moderate centrist on the Republican side. So basically, I’m the same person, same priorities, same values, with an “R” next to my name. Way less headaches, and I’ll be able to get way more done for my community.”
Mainor had famously clashed with her party over school vouchers. But she also called out a famous Georgia Democrat for pushing her out of the party, namely, former Gubnetrorial Candidate Stacey Abrams.
“In 2022, with me being an incumbent, Stacey Abrams and her team endorsed opponent [Keona Jones] in the primary. I won more than 65 percent of the vote,” noted Mainor when discussing her reasons for leaving the party with Politico.
Regardless of her reasoning, members of Mainor’s former party were quick to call her out for playing bait and switch with her constituents.
“Rep. Mesha Mainor’s switch to the GOP is a stinging betrayal of her constituents, who elected a Democrat to represent them in the state legislature,” wrote the Georgia Democratic Party in a statement. “House District 56 deserves a representative who will do the job they were elected to do.”
However, Republicans like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene applauded the move, welcoming her to the party. The newly minted Republican isn’t up for re-election until 2024, which means her mostly Democratic constituents are stuck with her until then. Mainor previously vowed to run again this cycle. And she told Politico that she expects to win despite the “R” next to her name.
More from The Root