Republican Don Peck Switches To Democratic Party

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The political winds of change have hit the St. Lawrence County Legislature despite the election being still two years away.

That's because longtime Republican Don Peck of Gouverneur has defected to the other side of the political aisle now giving Democrats a 9-6 majority.
 
Peck had been a registered Republican for as long as he could vote - a period of some 40 years.

But his days as a moderate Republican have now changed.
 
"The Republican Party of today is not the Republican Party it was 10, 15, 20 years ago," said Peck.  "The hierarchy of the Republican Party from the the federal right on down to the local is making it hard for a moderate Republican to be a Republican any more."
 
Peck switched his party affiliation this week, registering as a Democrat.

Even though his registration change won't officially take effect until after next year's election, Peck says his switch didn't come without months of serious thought.

County Democratic Chair Mark Bellardini says Peck's move is an example of the bi-partisanship needed to solve issues at hand.
 
"He's always been a very moderate person and part of our group that understands that we are moving forward to try and help the whole county," said Bellardini.
 
Meanwhile, County Republican Chair Tom Jenison says the party is looking to regroup and will have to work harder especially after the Democratic victories from the White House to Congress.
 
He also told us Peck's defection won't come without consequences.
 
"We certainly are going to strive to replace him with a Republican in that district," said Jenison.
 
Peck isn't the only Gouverneur politician switching to the Democratic party.

Mayor Ron McDougall has also changed his party affiliation from Independence to that of Democrat.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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