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Louisiana Democratic lawmaker has left the party and plans to register as a Republican, marking the latest in a string of defections that have handed Republicans greater power in key state legislatures.

State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe became the second Democrat in the state legislature to leave the party this year, The Advocate reported. Rep. Francis Thompson in March joined the GOP, handing the party a 70-vote supermajority. While Thompson cited his conservative voting record as motivating his switch, it remains unclear why LaCombe has opted to flip.

Democrats took the loss in stride, with Caucus Chair Sam Jenkins indicating the party would continue to work with their colleague on key issues.

“House Democrats will continue to stand up for the working people of Louisiana,” he said. Read more…