Six years after switching his party affiliation from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, Montgomery County Legislator Joe Isabel said today he is switching back and that he intends to run for a third term on the legislature next year as a Republican.
Isabel said one of the contributing factors to his switch in 2012 while serving on the Amsterdam Common Council was a sharp disagreement with other Republicans about a construction and demolition landfill that was proposed to be built on the outskirts of the city. Isabel said he was against the project, while other Republicans put pressure on him to support it.
While he did not name anyone by name, Isabel said those Republicans he had a conflict with are no longer active in the party. He cited a long-time family tradition of involvement with the Republican Party and said that is where he feels the most comfortable.
Isabel served for six years as first ward alderman on the city council, and was then elected as a Democrat in 2013 as district 8 legislator on the county legislature. He currently works for Cranesville Block and manages the company’s four radio stations including WCSS in Amsterdam.
Isabel said his decision to go back is not due to any dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party.
“The people on the Democratic Party level were very good to me. I worked very well with them while I was there,” he said.
The legislature already has a Republican majority, so Isabel does not think his move will have much immediate effect on county politics.
“I don’t vote party,” said Isabel. “I vote what I feel that I need to vote for the people.”