A Democratic show of support for a Trump official from Georgia

Ashley Bell of Gainesville, shortly after switching to the Republican party in 2010. AJC file/Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com

Ashley Bell of Gainesville, shortly after switching to the Republican party in 2010. AJC file/Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com

In a show of bipartisan support, six state Senate Democrats sponsored a resolution to commend Ashley Bell, a Democrat-turned-Republican from Georgia who now works for the Donald Trump administration. The measure was adopted on Tuesday without debate.

Senate Resolution 333 praises Bell’s “determination, intelligence and work ethic” in rising from Hall County commissioner, as a Democrat, to become the highest-ranking African-American official at the Republican National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. Bell, who joined the GOP in 2010, now has a post at the U.S. State Department.

The resolution honoring him was sponsored by state Sens. Lester Jackson of Savannah, Emanuel Jones of Decatur, Ed Harbison of Columbus, Freddie Powell Sims of Dawson, Harold Jones of Augusta and Gail Davenport of Jonesboro – a show of bipartisan support for a rising Washington star whose political transformation has been dizzying.

In 2004, he was the president of the College Democrats of America and was introduced as “one of the future leaders of our party” on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. He took the floor amid a clattering of applause to endorse Kerry and praise Democrats as the party “that earned my loyalty as a child and it keeps my loyalty today.”

His election to the Hall County Commission in 2008 at age 27 seemed another rung on the ladder toward an inevitable bid for higher office. But local activists grew suspicious in 2010 when Bell started showing up at campaign events around Gainesville for Republican Nathan Deal during his campaign for governor.

Shortly after Deal’s victory, Bell announced his flip to the GOP at a press conference that local Republicans billed as a “historic announcement.” He said at the time that he felt “more at home” with conservative Republican policies, and his decision made national news as a wave of conservative-leaning Democrats flipped after the midterm elections.

Back home, Republican leaders cast it as a watershed moment. He was dubbed the first known black elected official to switch to the GOP in Georgia, and Deal said it was a harbinger of “what is happening in our state.”

Gainesville voters, though, were far from convinced. Bell was trounced in the 2012 GOP primary by Jeffrey Stowe, a political novice who owned a local electronics store and reminded voters he was a “lifelong Republican” and that he planned to stay in Gainesville for the long haul.

Bell, meanwhile, never strayed far from politics and helped launch the bipartisan 20/20 Leaders of America, which last election cycle focused on criminal justice initiatives. He was tapped in August to head the Republican National Committee’s black political engagement efforts.

Trump’s victory launched him into a higher orbit. He landed a job on his transition team, and in February was sworn in as a special assistant to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Insider’s note: This item was ripped and expanded from the Morning Jolt.

 

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
Steve Britt
Steve Britt

Smart people are on the Republican side. Smart Democrats have become smart Republicans. Democrat party is fascism, socialism, communism, race baiting, hating,and welfare for the world on the working class American citizens backs. This guy gets it. Democrats are a liability on the working class.

Dan Zaenglein
Dan Zaenglein

Ashley,don't listen to those Socialists. We're happy you joined us,you will find the love on our side!White Republicans, please surround this man,defend and support him,he is courageous!

Nancy Bonner
Nancy Bonner

Misleading headline. Ashley Bell switched parties in 2010. And he's not the first black man or woman to switch.

Shon Woods
Shon Woods

He turned Republican for financial reasons. Black republicans, even not so smart black republicans tend to do well in the Republican Party. Seriously. They have to be brilliant in the Democratic Party but not so bright in the Republican Party for fame and recognition. Republicans love to showcase their Black and Brown faces so as to not appear to be the non diverse party they are.

Cedric Butts
Cedric Butts

All Day. Everyday. They love to show the tokens.

Darlene Herrera Hoffman
Darlene Herrera Hoffman

Ashley Bell haven't heard that name in awhile...Glad to hear this...Always thought he was a smart man...:)

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

Once the Trump scandal goes down, all around him will be tainted.

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

I thought that conservatives hated flip floppers, affirmative action cases and career politicians. Of which, this man represents all of those things. But then again, they do love to support candidates with limited experience and understanding of how government actually works. From Hall County Commission to the State Department....? Sure, why not?

Nolan Sims
Nolan Sims

at least he's not a community organizer like the KENYAN CATASTROPHE!

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

^^^ boring, albeit, well rehearsed talking point ^^^

DaleBrenda Hammond
DaleBrenda Hammond

So proud of you. Cant believe the demos dont want what is best for America

Shon Woods
Shon Woods

Democrats know what's best for America. It isn't Trump. You ever see us fight any other President this hard?

Vanessa Scott-Washington
Vanessa Scott-Washington

TH Dearman, you might want to look over factual history before saying this. If failure is what you are wanting look no further than 45! It's a hot mess and getting hotter everyday.

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

I have that's why I can easily call Obama a failure.

Vanessa Scott-Washington
Vanessa Scott-Washington

With respect you may possibly be dreaming but keep playing happy days with #45. Eventually you will see the future which is impeachment.

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

You have to commit high crimes and misdemeanors to be impeached and trump hasn't committed any. Once the tax cuts take place and the economy takes off then you'll regret those choice of words.

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

Plus where were you when obama was committing high crimes and misdemeanors?

Debora Hill
Debora Hill

Poor little black boy Trying to fit in the kkk world He want to be White like Oj and we see where his home

Debora Hill
Debora Hill

Tjdearman wow that was a great come back Why you talking about your family like that

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Go back to being a loser.

Debora Hill
Debora Hill

No I am very sweet I have nothing to be bitter about But thanks for being concern And tjdearman you must have never heard yourself talk That's the loser y. O. U. R. S. E. L f

Ryan Padgett
Ryan Padgett

You mean like a Lindsey Graham or a John McCain?

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

I thought that conservatives hated flip floppers, affirmative action cases and career politicians. Of which, this man represents all of those things. But then again, they do love to support candidates with limited experience and understanding of how government actually works. From Hall County Commission to the State Department....? Sure, why not?

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

I'm sure you'd say the same if an elected republican changed parties and then was appointed to the White House staff by Obama......100% sure of it....

Missy Guider Holmes
Missy Guider Holmes

It's not about a PARTY is about THE PEOPLE- and maybe this man wants to be part of the solution not sitting back doing nothing but complaining about the problems. Good luck to him. I love all the negative comments about a 1 month President. What did Obama do in 1 month- nothing I can remember. In fact in 8 years he did nothing to help me - my insurance premiums doubled, my deductibles quadrupled and we spent over $4,000 more on our medical bills last year than we ever have before. Thanks for making health care " affordable "- NOT

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

Wised up? Interesting choice of words since the GOP claims higher ed is nothing more than liberal indoctrination. I guess that is why the left knew the ACA and Obamacare are the same thing.

Trude Sansbury
Trude Sansbury

I bet his family is going "What the F is wrong with you?"

JFitzgerald Myers
JFitzgerald Myers

Evidence that a fool is born every minute of every day in every year.

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

After Obamas failures I'm not surprised of this.

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

The truth, ask all the business owners.

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

What business owners? I am a business owner and have consulted with many and all are better off today then they were in 2009. Ask the average American with a retirement account they will have to admit they saw steady increases the last 8 years. The truth is what has the GOP done to help average Americans in the last 30 years? What GOP president has lowered the deficit or sought to impact the debt in the last 30 years?

TJ Dearman
TJ Dearman

My uncle runs a business and he's better off then he was 8 years ago as well. But while he's better off it could be even better especially if we lower taxes. Due to taxes and regulations business are failing or not growing as fast as they should be. Once the tax cuts takes place then watch what happens to business. The democrat party has shot a bird to the business owners and are catering to the bottom dwellers of society. Here's a Neil Boortz clip from awhile back so you can see the real impacts on business. https://youtu.be/d90VSRRETYo

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

As a former conservative turned liberal I applaud him for following his convictions. You can switch parties and work to help the party and not need anything from the party. There is something interesting about people who support 45 with no conviction. Their blind loyalty will not soon be forgotten.