(USA Features) A former Democratic sheriff in Montana announced Thursday he’ll seek reelection next year as a Republican, citing his former party’s embrace of anti-police rhetoric and the ‘defund the police’ movement in general.
“From the very beginning, I’ve made it no secret that I’m a Constitutionalist, that I believe in the Constitution and that I believe it’s concrete and not up to a progressive interpretation. Unfortunately, throughout my term so far I have repeatedly come under fire for my pro-Constitution beliefs,” Sheriff Jesse Slaughter of Cascade County said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
“Twice in public meetings, Democrat elected officials have tried to censor my words and opinions because they did not agree with me,” he continued. “
“I’ve been chastised publicly and privately for standing up for people’s individual rights and your Second Amendment rights. In one instance I was completely ignored by the state’s Democrat leader when I sought help for our jail overcrowding issues.”
Slaughter went on to cite Democrats’ embrace of the anarchist group known collectively as Antifa, calling it a “terrorist” group.
“Recently, an outspoken former Democrat candidate shared a controversial post on her official campaign page. The post clearly aligned her and those that believe in her with the terrorist organization Antifa,” he said.
“I asked the Democrat Central Committee if the candidate had gone too far and would the party tell her to stop. As of this video I have received no response from the Democrat Party and their leadership,” Slaughter added.
Because of the Democratic Party’s refusal to come off its positions on defunding police and shunning Antifa, Slaughter said that made his decision, essentially.
“It is my duty to serve all people of Cascade County, regardless of your political beliefs. To do this effectively I have to know I have the support of the party I’ve aligned myself with,” he said.
“So I’m officially kicking off my reelection campaign to remain your sheriff. I hope I can count on your support as I move my name to the Republican ticket,” he added.
Cascade County is located northeast of the state capital of Helena, in the central portion of the state.
“This is not a decision I take lightly, but it is the right decision,” Slaughter said. “I’ve continually found support from the leaders of the Republican Party. More importantly, they have shown unwavering support for the profession of law enforcement.”
In an interview with the Great Falls Tribune Slaughter added that the GOP is always supportive of law enforcement.
“It just seems like every time I need law enforcement support the Republicans are always right there,” he told the paper.
“Both Sen. [Steve] Daines and Gov. [Greg] Gianforte texted and called me last night, and both of them said, ‘You know we never cared about your party, we just back what you do and who you are.’ They never cared about the party, they just cared about the mission that law enforcement is conducting every day. I don’t get that from the Democratic Party. I get ignored, basically,” he added.