Seven former Mississippi Democrats are now with the ranks of the Republican Party after making their formal switch Wednesday.
Since January 2009, Mississippi Republican Party chairman Joe Nosef says more than 50 state and local Democrats have moved to the GOP.
Among those making the switch is Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight.
"Their values and my values are totally different," said Knight. "And I go as far as to say that, in my opinion, their values and most of the Democrats in Mississippi as far as this are concerned, values are different."
"This is enough. We've gone too far. We've gone down the road of moral decay too far," said Leake County Sheriff Greg Waggoner. "It's time to stop it. It's time to turn around and let's go back together."
"I would like to welcome these fine public servants to the Republican Party," said Nosef. "They have realized what many other former Democrats have learned before them, there is no longer a place in the Mississippi Democratic Party for a conservative Democrat."
Also switching parties are:
Jones County Justice Court Judge David Lyons
Jones County Constable Mitch Sumrall
Leake County Coroner Randolph Scott
Leake County Supervisor Tony Smith
Leake County Justice Court Judge Ken Adcock
Mississippi Democratic party chairman, Rickey Cole, released a statement about the changes in political party made by these elected officials.
"While we strongly believe that any person should join and support the political party that best represents their interests, we find it troubling that less than six months into a new four-year term, officials who posed as Democrats last November have now decided to become Republicans, but intend to remain in the office to which they were elected as Democrats."
Cole said the Democratic Party believes that people who choose to switch parties while in office should resign and run again under the new banner at the next election.