Two weeks after switching parties, Rep. Chuck Hopson thinks he did the right thing, given the politics of his district.
"East Texas is really not Obama land" he says. Republican John McCain easily defeated Barack Obama in that district in 2008.
"McCain, in my four counties here, got 72 to 74 percent... I think if the election were held today, that would be something like 80 percent," Hopson says.
His friends, he says, are still his friends, and the people who didn't like him before, he says, really don't like him now.
Under a dozen sought refunds after he left the Democrats and joined the Republicans. "If they wanted their money back, we sent it back to them," Hopson says.
One Republican, Michael Banks, is already in the primary to challenge Hopson. He expects another, and says the Democrats will probably field a candidate to run against the Republican nominee in November. Hopson says some of the people trying to talk him into switching also tried to assure him he'd get a pass in the primary. "I really didn't believe that," he says.
Hear the whole conversation on the audio link to the right.