Democratic North Carolina Sheriff Says “Democrat Party That I Grew Up In, No Longer Exists”

The defund-the-police rhetoric may be popular among liberal elites.

But it’s proving to be an arrow to the exit for Democrats who actually have to protect America’s streets.

In North Carolina, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger has announced that he will not seek re-election and that he is also leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent.

“Throughout my life, I have been a conservative Democrat as my father and family have always been. I know there are many conservative and moderate Democrats in Gaston County who have supported me over the years. So, I want to thank you for your loyalty,” Cloninger said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“It saddens me that the same Democrat Party that I grew up in, no longer exists.”

“Some of the new Democrats in Washington attack and degrade all law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect the people and in return, are given no respect. This is wrong and unjustified,” the sheriff continued.

He noted that the Gaston County Democratic Party is recruiting an opponent to challenge him in the March primary – presumably to attack Cloninger from the left.

“The present Democratic Party has left me and there is no home for a conservative Democrat in today’s Democratic Party,” he said.

“Therefore, I will be changing my party affiliation from Democrat to an unaffiliated voter and will vote independent from this day forward.”

The announcement came just three months after he said he would seek re-election next year.

The sheriff noted that his family asked him to retire after more than 16 years as sheriff.

As the Tampa Free Press reported two months ago, Cloninger is part of a trend.

In Virginia, Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler, Buchanan County Sheriff John McClanahan, and Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt, like Cloninger, all said they left the Democratic Party because of relentless attacks by national Democrats on law enforcement.

But in the last few months, other lawmen have done likewise.

Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Sheriff James Albert, Granville County, North Carolina, Sheriff Charles Noblin, Cascade County, Montana, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter, and Vanderburgh County, Indiana, Sheriff Dave Wedding all have left the Democrats for the GOP, citing the rhetorical attacks on law enforcement and the drive to defund the police.

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