Archived Story

Sheriff switches parties

Published 11:41am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett has left the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party.

“I appreciate the opportunity for the Republican Party to allow me to join their ranks,” Abbett said.

Abbett is in his fifth term as sheriff and said he intends to seek a sixth.

“In preparing for the 2014 election when I will be seeking the office of sheriff, I felt this was in the best interests of me, my family and people of Tallapoosa County,” Abbett said.

Sheriff Abbett was officially inducted into the Tallapoosa County Republican Executive Committee at the party’s regular monthly meeting held at Elmer’s Restaurant on Jan. 24. Abbett is one of two local politicians that have left the Democratic Party in the past year, as Tallapoosa County Coroner Mike Knox made the switch in October 2012.

Denise Bates, chairwoman of the Tallapoosa County Republican Party, made the announcement this week.

“I’ve known Sheriff Abbett for many years, and I believe that he is a true conservative and sincere in his convictions,” stated Bates. “We certainly welcome him into our Republican family, as I know he will stand for the conservative, Alabama values that we hold dear. He joins a great team of Tallapoosa Republicans that now includes a majority of the county commission, probate judge, two members of the Tallapoosa County school board and the county coroner.”

Abbett has served the citizens of Tallapoosa County as Sheriff for 18 years.

He is married to the former Linda Davis of Jackson’s Gap, and they have two children and two grandsons.

Abbett is a member and ordained deacon of the First Baptist Church of Dadeville.

He has been active in civic affairs and has served on the board of directors for numerous civic groups.

Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, remarked that since the Republicans swept into the office in November of 2010, dozens of office-holders have made the decision to leave the Democratic Party.

“Alabama values are no longer represented by the Democrat Party here in Alabama or in Washington. We continue to welcome conservative Democrats who share our conservative philosophy to join the Alabama Republican Party,” Armistead said. “The 2014 election is rapidly approaching, and we plan to run a full slate of candidates for positions up and down the ballot and in counties where we elected Republicans for the first time last year … Once again, I offer my invitation to all conservatives to come join the only true conservative party in Alabama, the Alabama Republican Party.”