Rep. Mainor leaves Democratic Party of Georgia for GOP

Mesha Mainor

Rep. Mesha Mainor addresses her colleagues from the well on Feb. 23, 2023, at the Georgia Statehouse in Atlanta. (Credit: Georgia House of Representatives)

Jul 11, 2023

Following criticism from Georgia Democrats over supporting the private school voucher proposal and other issues, state Rep. Mesha Mainor, of Atlanta, on Tuesday decided to ditch the Democratic Caucus and officially join the Republican Party of Georgia.

Mainor argued that the Democratic Party doesn't have her Atlanta constituents' best interest at heart, while reassuring that she will continue to serve the people of Georgia by pushing for legislation that will benefit them.

Mesha Mainor
Rep. Mesha Mainor addresses her colleagues from the well on Feb. 23, 2023, at the Georgia Statehouse in Atlanta. (Credit: Georgia House of Representatives)

She made the announcement during a press event at the Georgia Capitol shortly after State Affairs published an exclusive interview with her when she was a Democrat. During her interview, Mainor was blunt about her frustration with the Democratic Party of Georgia. 

“Today is an important day for me and the people I serve in district 56,” Mainor said during Tuesday’s press conference outside the Statehouse. “Today I stand here to say that I have decided to join the Republican Party of Georgia. This was not an easy decision. 

“I have been a Democrat my entire life; my family are Democrats. So this was not easy. But I want the residents of Georgia to know, watch me. In 2024, watch what I do. Think about what I have already done and I am confident that I am about to do so much more.”

“For the past three legislative sessions, I’ve used my physical therapy background to be a voice for the people: people with disabilities, veterans, children, seniors, victims of violent crimes and those suffering from a mental illness.”

“Every resident in every community is unique and different. And I tried to serve each and every one of them. Lots of things have changed over the past few years. Some things have worsened and some things are much better. I was born into the Democratic party.”

Georgia Democrats denounced Mainor’s decision to leave the party, calling it a “betrayal.” DPG Chair Nikema Williams said in a written statement: "Rep. Mesha Mainor's switch to the GOP is a stinging betrayal of her constituents, who elected a Democrat to represent them in the state legislature. House District 56 deserves a representative who will do the job they were elected to do, including fight for high-quality public education. Georgia Democrats look forward to electing a strong Democrat next year in H.D. 56 who will serve the people, not personal political ambitions."

Meanwhile, Mainor claimed that members of the Democratic Party have “publicly slandered” her by “going to my daughter’s school and going to my church to meet with my pastor.” Mainor added she’d supported initiatives popular among Republicans, such as school choice and increasing teacher pay, but that Democrats have attempted to stifle bipartisan efforts on a variety of issues.

“As the party of tolerance and the current minority party, it’s common sense that bipartisanship is necessary,” Mainor said. “But bipartisanship and free will are in direct conflict with the real Democrat philosophy that I’ve witnessed in Georgia. As a result of my bipartisanship efforts, Democrats have relentlessly tried to sabotage every single thing I have done for district 56.”

Georgia Republican Party Chairman Josh McKoon welcomed Mainor, saying “this is a historic day for Georgia Republicans.”

McKoon added: “We are delighted to welcome Rep. Mainor to the Georgia Republican Party and look forward to collaborating with her to advocate on behalf of hard working Georgians.  Our Party stands for empowering parents to be advocates for giving their children the best education possible, that every Georgia deserves to feel safe at home, at work, and in school; and to have the economic opportunity to build better lives.”

Issac Morgan is newsletter editor for State Affairs. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @IssacMorgan12.


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