New Jersey state Senator Dawn Addiego is officially leaving the Republican Party to become a Democrat.
Addiego announced her decision in a statement on Monday, saying that “as gridlock in Washington dominates the news, it has become increasingly clear that in order to effect change you have to be part of the discussion and not on the outside looking in.”
“The people of the 8th district did not elect me to be content in the role of loyal opposition,” she added.
The New Jersey Globe noted that Addiego’s switch to the Democratic Party now means that there are seven South Jersey Democratic senators in the legislature, marking a significant victory for Senate President Steve Sweeney and South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross.
It also gives Democrats a 26-14 majority in the state senate, giving the GOP the smallest amount of seats in the chamber since 1981, according to the paper.
Addiego, who has served in public office for 25 years and has represented the 8th District in the state Senate since 2010, added that the “core values that originally drew me to the Republican Party have not changed.”
“But the party which once echoed the vision of Ronald Reagan no longer exists,” Addiego said. “Oil drilling off our coast and tax policy which unfairly penalizes New Jersey families are just a few examples of a National Republican Party that has lost its way.”
Doug Steinhardt, chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party, said Addiego’s decision represented turning “her back on the voters that put her in office as a member of the Republican Party,” according to NorthJersey.com.