Times are a-changing for politics in Pittsburg County.
The county has two Republican representatives for the first time ever and nearly 400 Pittsburg County residents have changed party affiliation this year through Nov. 1 — with 90% of those changed their affiliation switching from Democrat or Independent to Republican. Only 37 Pittsburg County voters changed their party affiliation to Democrat in that time.
Mary Allison was a lifelong registered Democrat until switching to Republican during a voter registration drive.
She said her now former party was "getting a little bit embarrassing" in its treatment of President Donald Trump.
"They haven't done anything but pick on Trump since he took office," Allison said.
Allison noted she doesn't like everything Trump does, but it was getting harder to tolerate the Democrats treatment of him.
We spoke with voters as part of CNHI's periodic “Pulse of the Voters” project where reporters from newspapers in 22 states recorded their concerns. Voters across the country discussed next year’s presidential election, the battle for control of the Senate and House, and more.
Locals told us part of their decision to switch parties was because they considered Democrats mistreated Trump and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Although the November 2020 presidential election seems a long time away, the presidential primary will be here soon enough on March 3, 2019 and the red wave looks like it will continue to rise in Pittsburg County.
But regardless of whether you've changed your party — Democrat to Republican, or any other combination — the important thing is to get out and vote.
Judging by the recent changes in voter party affiliation in Pittsburg County, lots of people are engaged in politics — and will likely stay engaged heading into the presidential and local elections.
Still, the number of ballots cast in any local election is always less than the number of registered voters who are qualified to participate.
So let your voice be heard and head out to the polls on election day.
As has been said, every vote counts. Make sure yours is among those that are counted.