Politics

Leader of Mississippi College Republicans Resigns to Join Democrats

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The leader of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans announced Monday morning that he is resigning as chairman of the state organization — and has plans to become a Democrat now.

“I am leaving my position in the organization and have begun to speak to members of the Mississippi Democratic Party and will be changing my party affiliation to Democrat in the next few days,” Chairman Evan Alvarez said in a statement to Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper.

Alvarez’s resignation immediately drew a rebuke from the leader of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC), who told The Daily Caller on Monday that it was “based on self-interest, not principle.”

“As chair of the CRNC, some would expect I would be disappointed by today’s news. I am not,” College Republican National Committee Chairwoman Alex Smith told TheDC. “This defection was based on self-interest, not principle.”

Added Smith: “Mr. Alvarez will feel increasingly lonely in a party that is hemorrhaging young voters because of President Obama’s and Democrats’ extreme left wing agenda that is crippling our generation.”

Alvarez’s strange and abrupt party-switch comes during a time of turmoil for the state’s Republican Party. Incumbent GOP Sen. Thad Cochran won more votes than his conservative challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, in last week’s GOP run-off. But McDaniel is contesting Cochran’s win, arguing that some of the Democrats who crossed party lines to help Cochran win the GOP primary were ineligible to vote.

Alvarez previously supported Cochran in the race; he posed in photos with sign-waving supporters of the senator’s campaign. The organization previously made news this year after Alvarez supported the impeachment of its state executive director for publicly endorsing McDaniel in the campaign.

In his resignation letter on Monday, Alvarez slammed the tea party and other “extremists.”

“When I ran for chairman in the spring, I ran to be chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College REPUBLICANS, not the Mississippi Federation of College “Tea Partiers,” Alvarez wrote. “Also, I believe that the Republican Party has allowed these groups of extremist[s] to have too much of a voice and because of that, the platform of the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion.”

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