Thomas Roberts   |  October 22, 2013

Texas judge to GOP: I quit!

Carlo Key, a Republican judge in Bexar County, Texas, announced that he plans on leaving the GOP and run for re-election as a Democrat.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> lot about the latest polls showing republican favorability hitting an all-time low. now one republican judge in texas said he had enough of his own doparty. carlo key saying he will run for re-election as a democrat and had some choice words for the gop.

>> i can no longer be a member of the republican party . for too long the republican party has been at war with itself. make no mistake, i have not left the republican party , it left me. i cannot tolerate a political party that demeans texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status.

>> joining me right now is judge key. he wants to talk about that decision to switch parties. sir, it's good to have you here. in this announcement you say that pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. you also talk about hate speech in reference to the homophobic remarks that were caught on audio tape back in august. had you already decided to make the switch and was that just the last straw and was there an option to come out as an independent and not switch to the democratic side altogether?

>> you know, i think first in regards to whether or not you can run as an independent, when you look at the history, i don't know if an independent has even run. it's very rarely done. the elisa chan incident really was one of the last straws. as a lot of people know who have run in a primary race, you have to get out there and campaign. one of those things that i had to do was there was a news conference in which councilwoman chan was supposed to answer some hard questions. the republican party made an effort to go out there and support her and to be honest, i got in my car and i just could not do it. i could not go to that event. i'd say, yes, that hate speech was one of the things that really convinced me that i noded to consider my values and whether the republican party --

>> well, i was going to say it's bad news with your departure from the republican party and on a number of fronts here because they lose a promising young politician, a prominent hispanic. do you feel like your state is falling more into the hands of politicians like ted cruz , who seem to really gather all the headlines?

>> well, i would say down here in texas , especially in south texas , in 2010 the tea party was growing. and now obviously it's become very strong. it's become a problem in our country. and, you know, the effects of the shutdown show it. and that's just not reason in my opinion.

>> when we talk about, you know, certain hot button issues, we have abortion, voting lights, lgbt rights , why is it texas seem to be such a hot bed of controversy on those topics?

>> honestly i don't know. you know, i'm not a political adviser, i'm not a political expert, i'm a judge. so it's difficult to say. i can tell you that the divide is growing more and more. that reason and -- you know, people in the middle may not fit in the republican party . maybe across the nation most especially where i am here locally.

>> who would the republican party need to demonstrate to you to win you back?

>> compassion. there's a lot of anger, there's a lot of hate. i haven't seen any of it. on one side of their mouth they say that we need the hispanic vote. on the other hand, they look at the dream act and decide that maybe that needs to be changed. and those -- you know, they're contrary to each other. they're not consistent. and so i would need to see action. i think action speaks louder than words.

>> judge carlo key. sir, thanks for your time. we western you the best of luck