A lawmaker from the Peach State angered her Democratic colleagues in the Georgia state House of Representatives over her support for recent legislation and officially switched political parties.
Democrat Mesha Mainor, who has represented District 56 in the Georgia State House since January 2021 — announced the first decision shortly before noon on Tuesday that will switch her registration to Republican.
“When I decided to stand up on behalf of disadvantaged children in support of school choice, my Democrat colleagues didn’t stand by me,” explained Mainor of her decision. “They crucified me. When I decided to stand up in support of safe communities and refused to support efforts to defund the police, they didn’t back me. They abandoned me.”
“For far too long, the Democrat Party has gotten away with using and abusing the black community,” added Mainor. “For decades, the Democrat Party has received the support of more than 90% of the black community. And what do we have to show for it? I represent a solidly blue district in the city of Atlanta. This isn’t a political decision for me. It’s a moral one.”
Mainor clarified that her work across party lines will continue after she switches parties and said she has “never hesitated to work across the aisle to deliver results for my community and the people I was elected to represent. And that won’t change.”
She said she has “been met with much encouragement” amid her decision to change parties and noted that it’s “humbling to be embraced — for the first time in a long time — by individuals who don’t find fault in a black woman having a mind of her own and be willing to buck the party line.”
When asked if she believes she will face pushback from Democrats about her decision, Mainor said, “The most dangerous thing to the Democrat Party is a black person with a mind of their own. So, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
Mainor said she will continue prioritizing education and expanding the GOP majority in the House. “Education and the importance of school choice has been — and will continue to be — a key focus of mine,” said Mainor. “But outside education, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly to tackle the most pressing issues facing our state and to help grow the Republican Party, helping us not focus on just preaching to the choir but growing the congregation.”
Mainor accused fellow Dems of turning against her for advocating school choice
In a video she shared on social media in May, Mainor accused Democrats of turning against her for being a staunch advocate for school choice.
“I support school choice, parent rights, and opportunities for children to thrive, especially those that are marginalized and tend to fail in school,” said Mainor. “The Democrats and the [Georgia State] Capitol took a hard position and demanded every Democrat vote against children and for the teachers union. I voted yes for parents and yes for children not failing schools.”
Mainor justified her position by noting that some schools in her district have 3% reading proficiency rates and that many children cannot do simple math.
“I have a few colleagues upset with me to the point where they are giving away $1,000 checks to anyone that will run against me,” continued Mainor.
She explained that parents are upset that some politicians “put the teachers union and donors ahead of their constituents.”
Mainor’s speech became personal when she accused her colleagues of becoming upset when she stood up for her principles.
“It’s ironic. I’ll say every election year. I hear ‘Black Lives Matter.’ But do they? I see every other minority being prioritized except Black children living in poverty that can’t read,” argued Mainor. “We’ll send $1,000,000 to the border for immigrant services, But Black communities, not even a shout-out. I’m sorry, I don’t agree with this,” added Mainor. “I’m not backing down, and I’m actually just getting started.”
Earlier in the year, amid criticism from Dem counterparts in the state legislature, Mainor supported a school choice bill that expanded student opportunities for those attending Georgia’s lowest-rated schools.
Georgia Senate Bill 233 would have created $ 6,500 vouchers for students who attend schools that perform in the bottom 25% of the state to help pay for homeschooling expenses and private school tuition. GOP Governor Brian Kemp pushed for it, and it appeared to have enough votes to pass until 16 Republicans voted it down.
Mainor’s decision to change political parties while in office, which extends the Republican majority in the House, follows after former Georgia state Representative Vernon Jones made the same decision in 2021.
Jones argued in January 2021 that he was no longer a Democrat because he “cannot stand for the defunding of the police, higher taxes on working families, and job-killing socialist policies that will devastate Americans of all walks of life.”
“Now, let me make one thing clear — I haven’t changed. The Democratic Party has changed. It’s become a toxic combination of radical leftists and liberal elites in San Francisco and Hollywood who have taken over my former Party, Jones added.