The following, from State Treasurer John N. Kennedy, via Lee Fletcher, is to be released, officially, today.
Your support and friendship are very important to me. I have always tried to tell you where I stand and what I stand for. That’s why I’m writing this letter.
I have decided to join the Republican Party. I wanted you to be among the first to know, and to hear it from me. It has been an honor to serve as your State Treasurer and I will seek my third term this October as a Republican.
Becky and I did not make this decision lightly. Nor did we make it quickly. For well over a year I have searched my heart and, as a good Methodist, prayed about this decision.
The reason for my decision is my beliefs.
I believe in certain fixed, bedrock principles: that government should be responsive and accountable to the taxpayers who pay for it; that economic growth originates in the private sector; that education is the best safeguard of liberty; that ethics in government is critical to people’s faith in democracy; that the values of faith, work, family, personal responsibility and individual liberty are the building blocks of a prosperous society. I have concluded that the Republican Party is the party that best reflects my values today.
I also believe in the power of ideas. Every advancement in art, science, technology, business, cooking and medicine has occurred only after someone challenged the rules and tried another way. My career in public service demonstrates my belief in the power of looking for a better way. For the past several years, it has increasingly been the case that those public servants who have embraced my ideas and my philosophy of trying new approaches are primarily Republicans. I am grateful for their support and their willingness to try something different. I also believe for this reason it is time to join the Republican Party.
Finally, I believe that Louisiana state government needs to change. It has to change. And it must change now. Otherwise, Louisiana will become a place our children visit when they come see us at Christmas, instead of a place they can live, prosper and raise their own families. I feel I can best contribute to that change as a Republican.
Some of you will support my decision. Others will not. To still others it will make no difference; I am, after all, the same person with the same principles, the same values and the same dreams. Regardless, I hope you will respect my choice and my reasons for making it. I also hope you will support my reelection as your State Treasurer.
I will end as I began: you will never know how much your support and friendship mean to Becky and me. Thank you.
Thank you, as well, for giving so much to Louisiana.
Note: Interestingly, there is a poll on Lee Fletcher’s site asking if Chris Whittington should resign. Heck no! He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to the LAGOP. Please stick around, Chris. Please.