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Politician Ditches GOP For Democrats

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Standing in front of Miami-Dade elections headquarters, Ana Rivas Logan tore her voter registration card to pieces.  "This is my old Republican registration card and it's gone," she said while laughing.

The former State Representative and Miami-Dade School Board member officially abandoned her Republican party Monday, filing paperwork inside the election headquarters to switch parties.

Just before turning her registration in, she smiled for the camera holding up her form.  "I am now officially a Democrat," she proclaimed.

Rivas-Logan is a long way away from a snapshot taken just a few years ago on the Florida House floor.  The freshman politician was surrounded by Republican heavy-hitters in what seemed to be happier times.  She says it wasn't real.  "The pressure that was placed upon us was tremendous. Complete lack of consideration of our personal beliefs and the reason why we ran for office. What you saw was a facade.  A very pretty facade"

The Republican base voted Rivas-Logan out two years ago.  She says she tried hard to stay with the party.  "It just became more and more radicalized."  She made her announcement and comments flanked by Miami-Dade Democratic Party chair Annette Taddeo.

The decision to change is "not anti-Republican," she said, "I think it's just there is no other place to go."  Taddeo says she is seeing more and more Republicans making the conversion.  "They are just fed up.  They are saying enough is enough," she added.

Of course, the most notable party change is gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist who officially switched to Democrat in 2012.  Rivas-Logan sympathized with him.   "I can certainly see why he changed parties.  The party certainly turned against him.  I feel his pain.  I'm doing it for similar reasons."

George Gonzalez, a University of Miami political science professor, wasn't too surprised by the announcement, Monday.  "I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of this kind of movement," he said.  Gonzalez believes this is the fallout of the Tea Party influence.  Gonzelez explained, "a republican moderate is more ideologically comfortable within the Democratic party today. And more welcome in the Democratic party today than they feel in the Republican party."

One has to wonder though if it's also a stunt to get back into office, as Crist has been accused of since he changed parties.  Gonzalez disagreed that that was the true intent.  "I think this is quite a risky strategy from an electoral point of view," he said.  Rivas-Logan told us she has no plans to run for any office.  Rather she plans to campaign and be an activist to help Democrats win future elections.

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