Sheriff Chip Shuler of Smyth County, Virginia, has become the third elected law enforcement official to leave the Democratic Party in the last year because of a “relentless attack on law enforcement by Democrats in Richmond and Washington.”
Sheriff Shuler, who Democrats elected in 2015, announced in a statement that he is switching parties because, he said, law enforcement officers have faced attacks by Democratic politicians in Virginia and across the country that undermine their jobs and the safety of all Americans.
Shuler is now the third sheriff in Virginia to switch parties in the last year, according to Smyth County Republican Party Chairman Adam Tolbert. He noted that Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt and Buchanan County Sheriff John McClanahan also switched to the Republican Party a few months ago.
Tolbert told WJHL-TV media that he gladly accepted Shuler’s party switch.
“I commend Sheriff Shuler for making this bold decision to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican Party. We are thrilled to have him as a member of the Republican Party in Smyth County,” he said.
Fox News recently spoke in an exclusive interview with Hieatt, who outlined similar sentiments to Schuler, where he criticized the move to defund police and the Democratic politicians behind it.
“When we hear talks about defund the police, take away resources, the bottom line is, you get what you pay for and that’s with any profession,” Hieatt said.
He added, “So if you take away money and have to pay bottom dollar for certain for all the service and not have the resources to properly train, not have the money to properly test all the new applicants and new people coming in, then you’re not going to get the best. If you want better people in law enforcement, then there needs to be more funding to be able to do more testing, to be able to offer better pay as the people come in.”
Hieatt then spoke of the logical contradiction he felt being a Democratic Sheriff, who, on the one hand, entertained the demands of victims of insecurity and, on the other hand, knew he belonged to a group that promotes defunding his own job.
“It’s hard for me as a sheriff to wear a badge as a sworn law enforcement officer and elected sheriff and say I’m with the Democratic party when I would see the things that’s going on that’s hurting law enforcement.”
Similar situations have also been known in other states. Such is the case of a Pennsylvania Sheriff who in recent months announced that he abandoned the Democratic Party due to its “socialist agenda.”
In a dialogue with Fox News‘ Fox & Friends program, Fayette County Sheriff James Custer revealed that he has been considering his decision for months. He pointed out that he was influenced by the measures taken by Democratic authorities during the Chinese Communist Party Virus pandemic.
Sherif Shuler’s announcement comes ahead of the state’s primary election on Tuesday, where Virginians will select Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, as well as choose for multiple candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives. The state’s general election will be held on Nov. 2.