INDIANAPOLIS - The Democrats' majority on the Indianapolis City-County Council has shrunk to just one vote after Councilor Jose Evans announced Tuesday he's joining the Republican Party.
Evans, 40, who represents District 1 in Pike Township, said he's fed up with what he describes as Democratic infighting and lack of ideas. He says he's always been a conservative, although not a far-right one.
"It's very clear to me that Republican policies and Republican leadership are getting things done, and I really want to be a part of a party that's focused on progress," Evans said. "I became a politician not because of political games, but because I really want to make a difference."
Evans said he's been talking about this move since 2007, when he was first elected to council. He was elected again in 2011.
Republicans view the recruitment of Evans, who is Hispanic and black, as a step forward for a party seeking more diversity, especially in Marion County.
Democrats previously held a 16-13 majority on the Council. That will now be 15-14.
The party rejected Evans charges about their party and said they look forward to retaking what they're convinced is a Democratic council seat.
"I have confidence that the Democratic Party is a party of ideas and that the Democratic Party is a progressive party and the right party to lead the city," said county party chairman Joel Miller.
Evans was raised in Haughville. He was director of minority and women business enterprises under Mayor Bart Peterson.