(Lander, Wyo.) – Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese announced today that she has changed her political affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Her affiliation change was made effective Dec. 17. She reportedly advised both local party chairs of the change in a letter last week.
Freese said in a news release that “her views have been more in line with the Republican values and platforms and she has been contemplating this change for some time.”
“I’m very ultra-conservative,” Freese said of her budgeting policies in an interview as an example of the values she’s come to embrace. She said she wants less government and doesn’t approve of “socialistic” direction she sees government taking.
She said she will be involved with the local Republican party, but she said she will not hold any offices with the party.
The change in party doesn’t mean a change in her actions, Freese. “I don’t plan on doing anything different,” she said.
“Freese will strive to continue to work with all parties and all constituents of Fremont County to provide quality service, educational updates, and transparency of the office,” she said in the news release.
Fremont County Democrats Chairman Bruce Palmer didn’t have much comment on the change in Freese’s party.
“She’s certainly entitled to do what she wants to do,” Palmer said. “If that’s where she finds better alignment, that’s where she should be.”
Freese said the Democratic party has treated her well over the years.
She also said she does intend to run for reelection in 2014.
Not since current St. Senator Eli Bebout changed from a Democrat to a Republican when he was a member of the State House in 1993-94 has an elected county politician changed parties while serving in office. Commissioner Keja Whiteman is now the only Democrat serving at the county level.