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He railed against 'unconstitutional' pandemic shutdowns and 'defund the police'
A Pennsylvania sheriff said he decided to switch his political affiliation from Democratic to Republican due to his former party's embrace of a "socialist agenda."
Fayette County Sheriff James Custer told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Monday that "the shift in ideals of the Democratic Party at the national level," namely, their "socialist agenda," caused him to make the change.
"This is something I had been considering for several months," he continued. "It probably started back when the pandemic started and the mandates coming down by the Democratic governors — which we have one here in Pennsylvania — that I feel are unconstitutional."
Custer added that as a sheriff, he has a duty to "protect and serve, uphold, and defend the Constitution of the United States" as "unconstitutional mandates" issued by state and local officials injure the rights and freedoms of American citizens.
On Dec. 12, Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced new mitigation measures as the state experienced an uptick in coronavirus cases. The new measures included a temporary ban on indoor dining as well as the closure of gyms, theaters, and other entertainment venues.
The new guidelines also bar indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people and have resulted in the suspension of youth and high school sports.
Custer officially made the switch to the GOP in September along with Fayette County District Attorney Rich Bower, as reported by the Herald Standard. Both former Democratic leaders voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 and did so again in 2020.
Even after voting for Trump in 2016, Custer, who called himself a lifelong Democrat, remained a party member for several years. But he said the party's "slide" towards socialism during the Trump presidency finally caused him to reconsider.
When asked if the nationwide "defund the police" movement pushed by progressive Democrats had anything to do with his decision, Custer replied saying it was definitely a factor given his 30 years in law enforcement.
"Starting back from the George Floyd incident and all the civil unrest and the calls for 'abolish the police,' 'defund the police' that was part of factoring in to my decision that, 'Hey, this is not what I signed up for,'" Custer said. "And there's plenty of people out there who are backing us, and that's why I was one of 40 individual sheriffs in Pennsylvania to endorse President Trump as our law and order president."
Custer's words ring true, especially to former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden was recently caught on leaked audio admitting that Republicans "beat the living hell out of us across the country" over the defund the police movement.
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