State senator Rick Ward III switches parties

State Sen. Rick Ward III has become the third state legislator in recent weeks to switch voter registration from Democrat to Republican.

“I’ve been in the Legislature now for two years and really the road the Democratic Party is going is not an area I feel comfortable with,” Ward said Tuesday.

“As I dealt with more and more issues it became more clear to me that’s where I stand politically,” the Maringouin legislator said of his move to the GOP.

Ward said he is “very conservative and I feel it best represents the people of my district.”

Ward’s District 17 covers parts of St. Helena, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Assumption and St. Martin parishes.

Ward became the 26th Republican state senator - giving the party a two-thirds super- majority in the 39-member body.

Last week, House Appropriations Committee chairman state Rep. Jim Fannin, of Jonesboro, switched to the GOP. Prior to that, state Sen. Elbert Guillory, of Opelousas, became the only black Republican legislator in the Louisiana Legislature.

State Republican Party executive director Jason Doré said Ward will fit in well with member of the Louisiana GOP.

“He has stood up for life, education reform, fiscal responsibility and the Second Amendment,” DorĂ© said in a statement.