FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Democratic state Rep. John Tilley said he will not switch parties when he resigns his seat to go work for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
Bevin named Tilley the new secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on Thursday. The move means Democrats lose an influential member in the House and will be forced to win a special election in a Republican-friendly district as they try to hang on to their slim majority.
In an interview, Tilley said he was concerned what impact his decision might have on Democrats keeping control of the House. But he said his passion for public safety and criminal justice outweighed any political ramifications.
Tilley will make about $137,000 a year as a cabinet secretary. But Tilley said the salary did not factor into his decision.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.