North Las Vegas mayor joins Republican Party

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Steve Marcus

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee takes questions from students during a virtual leadership assembly at the Somerset Academy, a charter school in North Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Lee was the featured speaker.

Published Tue, Apr 6, 2021 (8:32 a.m.)

Updated Tue, Apr 6, 2021 (2:02 p.m.)

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee has left the Democratic Party to become a Republican, citing socialist elements within his former party.

Lee also noted that he voted twice for former President Donald Trump. And in a video posted to Twitter, Lee said he was excited to work to “make America great again,” parroting Trump's campaign slogan.

In an interview today on Fox News, Lee said the current Democratic Party is "not the party I grew up in 25 years ago" and is "not the party I can stand with anymore."

In early March, progressives backed by the Democratic Socialists of America swept the party elections in the Nevada Democratic Party. Lee cited those elections as a reason for his switch.

“The working class, the working men and women of this country and also the small business owners are not a part of the conversation anymore. It all has to do with the elitists, and it has to do with the socialists, that is not the agenda that I have in mind for this country in the future,” he said.

Lee served in the Nevada Assembly from 1996 to 2000 and in the state Senate from 2004 to 2012, when he was defeated by Sen. Pat Spearman, a progressive challenger. He won the North Las Vegas mayoral election in 2013.

He was known as a moderate Democrat, which he emphasized in his interview on Fox News.

“When you’re a pro-life Democrat, a pro-gun Democrat and you’re a very conservative person, that’s not really well known in the Democratic party anymore,” he said.

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