LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Louisiana state senator is increasingly in the national spotlight after switching to the Republican party.
Former Democrat Elbert Guillory's conservative views have some hoping he'll run against U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu or for Lt. Governor.
Guillory is a rising star among local Republicans – in part, because of a YouTube video that has received thousands of hits so far. It's called, "Why I Am A Republican."
"The Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist movement with one simple creed: that slavery is a violation of the rights of man. Frederick Douglas called Republicans the party of freedom and progress. And the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln," Guillory said.
Guillory now finds himself in the national spotlight, becoming a familiar face on Fox News.
"During the past couple of years, I've watched as the party of disappointment moved farther and farther away from basic American values," he said.
His conservative message hits home with those convinced the country is heading down a path of destruction. He spoke about God and marriage.
"And the Lord did not say, 'Adam, here's Leroy. The Lord said, Adam, here's Eve,' "he said.
He uses the analogy of termites eating away a home's foundation as he discusses fiscal soundness and morals.
"We've gotta get some matches. We've gotta get some big boots. We've gotta go out with a sense of urgency my brothers and sisters, with a sense of urgency we've gotta go out and beat back the termites. That's all that I came here to say to you today. We've got to beat the termites away from the foundation of our nation," he said.
However, Guillory draws sharp criticism from those who say his party switch amounts to abandoning the values of those who elected him to the state senate and that he should step down.
Guillory represents Senate District 24.
Following this story is a news release from Louisiana Democrats regarding Guillory:
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Local Leaders Weigh in on Guillory's Unsurprising Return to GOP
BATON ROUGE -- Local elected officials and Democratic Party activists today weighed in on the unsurprising news that Elbert Guillory has returned to the Party of scandal-plagued Bobby Jindal and Tea Party extremists that have opposed equal pay for women and expanded access to health insurance for working families
Opelousas Mayor Don Cravins Sr.: "Today's announcement comes as a surprise to almost no one, as Elbert Guillory's party affiliation now finally matches his record of voting against the best interests of Acadiana families."
Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Brandon Shelvin: "As an elected official and constituent of the 24th Senate District, we are called upon to stand up for our constituents. Elbert Guillory fails that simple test, and we are a stronger, more unified Party today with this announcement.
Bambi Polotzola, Chair of Democratic Parish Executive Committee, St. Landry Parish: "Elbert Guillory has given the voters of his district years of broken promises, telling them one thing and then voting against the interests of his district. In St. Landry Parish alone, there are nearly 13,000 uninsured adults -- working people, cooks, child care workers, nursing home aides. The Louisiana Solution, a compromise, bipartisan plan, would have expanded access to health insurance for more than 6,000 of those folks. Instead of fighting for these people, Elbert Guillory decided to take a walk on a critical vote. He can keep on walking as far as I'm concerned."
Jolan Jolivette, Chair of Democratic Parish Executive Committee, Lafayette Parish: "I have been disappointed with Elbert Guillory's voting record, and now the same goes for his switch to the Republican Party. Two weeks ago there was a vote for equal pay for women in Louisiana. The Senate only needed one vote to pass equal pay for women, and he walked out on that vote. Now he is walking out on the hard-working families in Senate District 24 that voted for him. Louisiana needs strong Democratic leaders that are not followers and will focus on the economic issues that are affecting our great state."
Guillory's Party Affiliation Finally Matches His Hostility Towards the Working Families of Acadiana
BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Democratic Party today wished Elbert Guillory a fond farewell as the former Republican returned to the Party of scandal-plagued Bobby Jindal and Tea Party extremists that have opposed equal pay for women and expanded access to health insurance for working families.
"In a craven display of political opportunism, Elbert Guillory today rejoined the Party that has stood with Bobby Jindal's failed policies and against the working families of Acadiana," said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. "This move isn't surprising given Guillory's record of saying one thing to his constituents and then voting another way.