Democrats continue moving more to the radical left, especially with their attacks on law enforcement. This is already driving some out of the party — who knows how many more it will be?
Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger announced he will not run for reelection and is leaving the Democratic Party entirely, The Free Press of Tampa reported. The North Carolina law enforcement official cited the Party’s defund the police stance for his exit.
Cloninger becomes the latest in a string of law enforcement to defect. Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt, Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler, and Buchanan County Sheriff John McClanahan all left the Virginia Democratic Party.
“Throughout my life, I have been a conservative Democrat as my father and family have always been,” Cloninger said in his statement Wednesday about his exodus. “I know there are many conservative and moderate Democrats in Gaston County who have supported me over the years. So, I want to thank you for your loyalty,” he said.
“It saddens me that the same Democrat Party that I grew up in, no longer exists,” he said. Cloninger already announced three months ago that he would not seek another term, but now he’s shunning his party completely.
“Some of the new Democrats in Washington attack and degrade all law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect the people and in return, are given no respect. This is wrong and unjustified,” the sheriff added.
The sheriff has been at his job for 16 years though he said his family has been urging him to retire. Recently, the Gaston County Democratic Party began courting an opponent to challenge him in his March primary.
“The present Democratic Party has left me and there is no home for a conservative Democrat in today’s Democratic Party,” Cloninger said. “Therefore, I will be changing my party affiliation from Democrat to an unaffiliated voter and will vote independent from this day forward.”
Cloninger is part of a growing trend of law enforcement exiting from the Democratic Party. These men and women risk their lives to protect and serve the public, and now they’re being abandoned and betrayed by their own political party.