Annapolis, MD—Today, Anne Arundel County Delegate Meagan Simonaire joined the Democratic Party.
Delegate Simonaire fills out voter registration form
Picture (L to R): Beidle, Barnes, Simonaire, Cullison, Matthews, Luedtke
“I am leaving the Republican Party today, because it is important for me to stand with a party that is fighting for equality for all Americans—minorities, the LGBTQ community, victims of gun violence, immigrants, women, Americans of all faiths, and communities being affected by climate change,” said Delegate Simonaire. “President Trump regularly attacks minorities, women and anyone who does not agree with him, and I can no longer remain a part of a party that condones his divisive rhetoric. It’s reprehensible.”
“We welcome Delegate Simonaire into the Democratic Party and I believe her reasons for becoming a Democrat reflect the feelings of many Marylanders in 2018, who feel the values of the Democratic Party are more representative of their own,” said Maryland Democratic Party chair Kathleen Matthews. “Voters are eager for a party that stands for opportunity, equality and respect for all people.”
Delegate Simonaire is the youngest legislator in the Maryland General Assembly and bravely came out as queer during the 2018 Legislative Session as she stood up in favor of a Democratic bill to outlaw conversion therapy in Maryland.
At a brief media availability at the Maryland Board of Elections office in Annapolis this afternoon, Delegate Simonaire was joined by Delegates Pam Beidle, Darryl Barnes, Bonnie Cullison and Eric Luedtke, and Maryland Democratic Party chair Kathleen Matthews.
Click here to watch video of the media availability.
Below are Delegate Simonaire’s full remarks today, as prepared for delivery:
“Today is a day I have been thinking about for more than 2 years. I just switched my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. For the record, I do not take this decision lightly.
“I ran for office, because I wanted to be a voice for human trafficking victims and homeless youth, and I wanted to protect the Chesapeake Bay and make retirement affordable for middle class and working families. While I am still passionate about these issues, my views have evolved and my political experience has been enriched during my time in the legislature and I have increasingly found myself aligned with Democratic values.
“When I stood up and shared my story in support of the conversation therapy ban bill last April, I was proud to receive support from many Marylanders, especially Marylanders in the LGBTQ community.
“But it’s not enough to speak out only on issues that affect me. That’s why I am leaving the Republican Party today, because it is important for me to stand with a Party that is fighting for equality for all Americans—minorities, the LGBTQ community, victims of gun violence, immigrants, women, Americans of all faiths, and communities being affected by climate change.
“President Trump regularly attacks minorities, women and anyone who does not agree with him, and I can no longer remain a part of a party that condones his divisive rhetoric. It’s reprehensible.
“In the years since I entered the legislature, I have also watched mass shooting after mass shooting, and I can no longer sit by while innocent people are gunned down due to weak gun laws, both on the federal level and in far too many states.
“I am honored to have served the people of Maryland and will continue to do so through the end of my term and while I am not seeking another term at this moment, I intend to remain involved in politics and will continue encouraging other young people to get involved.
“I could have waited until my term was over before switching parties, but when I ran for office, I promised to be transparent with my constituents. This is not a decision I made lightly. I know, personally, how difficult it is to leave what has been familiar to you your entire life—whether it’s a political party or other long-held beliefs, but I also believe it is important to not let your past decisions determine your future. It’s important to grow, and that’s what I’ve done in the past 4 years as a delegate. I thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity.”