By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
Longtime democrat Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree is now a member of the Republican party.
On Monday, Crabtree filed a declaration of intent to change political party affiliation with the Scioto County Board of Elections. He said he plans to declare his candidacy for county commissioner as a republican.
“Everything I’ve done I’ve tried to put people first,” Crabtree said. “It’s not about politics once your elected, you’re a servant of the people. That includes everyone: democrats, republicans and independents.”
In 2010, Crabtree declared his candidacy for 89th district state representative. Crabtree was defeated in the primary by democrat Ron Hadsell. After the primary, Crabtree lent his support to republican candidate Dr. Terry Johnson.
In reaction to Crabtree’s support, Democratic Party Chairman Randy Basham wrote a letter to the party.
“Mr. Crabtree is a sore loser that was rejected by the voters in the May primary,” Basham wrote. “The Scioto County Democratic Party and the Ohio Democratic Party along with Gov. Ted Strickland has endorsed Ron Hadsell for 89th District Representative. Mike Crabtree is a turncoat to the Democrat Party.”
Crabtree said that is when he decided to switch parties.
“After the letter was written is about the time when I changed politics,” Crabtree said.
He said it was the right move for him to make.
“We’re very happy that Mike has decided to join the Republican party. We know Mike well and Mike knows us well,” said Kay Reynolds, co-chairwoman of the Scioto County Republican Party. “Mike is a disabled veteran and has served the community well and wants to continue to serve Scioto County.”
Reynolds said Crabtree has the support of the party to run for Scioto County commissioner.