The sheriff of Gaston County, North Carolina, announced Wednesday that he would not be seeking reelection, citing disagreements with the Democratic Party.
Alan Cloninger has served as sheriff for 16 years and has been a member of the Democratic Party until recently, announcing that he re-registered as an independent voter, according to an interview with WBTV, a local CBS affiliate.
"This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life," Cloninger said.
"But the time has come that I must put my family first. Today I am announcing that I will be retiring at the end of this term as your sheriff," he continued.
“The present Democratic Party has left me," Cloninger said. "There is no home for a conservative Democrat in today’s Democratic Party. Therefore, today I will be changing my party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated voter.”
“Some of the new Democrats in Washington attack and degrade all law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect the people,” Cloninger added.
Cloninger said his decision to register as independent is a statement that the Democratic Party has abandoned him. He stressed that his new status would allow him to vote for good candidates on both sides of the aisle.
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Original Author: Timothy Nerozzi