2 Walker County officials switch to GOP

2 Walker County officials switch to GOP

November 16th, 2011 by Andy Johns in News

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson

Two Democratic Walker County officials announced Tuesday they are switching to the Republican Party.

Sheriff Steve Wilson and Tax Commissioner Carolyn Walker made the announcement Tuesday at a county Republican meeting.

"I've been thinking about it a long time," said Walker, who was first elected as a Democrat 11 years ago. "It's been a battle, but it's something I just I feel I needed to do."

Wilson said he didn't like the term "switching," but he said his political leanings no longer are represented in the national and state Democratic parties.

"My personal beliefs and values do not line up with those beliefs," said Wilson, who first was elected in 1996.

Walker County Republican Party Chairman Nathan Smith welcomed the two officials.

"I know they both have deep conservative values and did serious soul-searching to determine which party truly represented their values," Smith said. "They have a history with the county Democratic Party, so this was a major decision that required serious thought and prayer."

Walker said she was "one of the most conservative people in elected office" and the change will not affect anything she does as tax commissioner.

"There's nothing political about my job," she said. "If you owe taxes, it's my job to collect them."

Wilson agreed.

"I'll put on my pants the same way tomorrow morning as I did this morning," he said. "I'll be the same sheriff I've been for 15 years."

Keith Fults, a Republican, also announced he was running for tax commission.