“This is not a decision made in haste or without considerable thought,” said Evans at a morning news conference. “When looking around my district, our city, and this state, however, it is clear that Republican policies and Republican leadership are getting things done, and I want to be a part of a Party that is focused on progress.”
Joining Councillor Evans at today’s news conference were Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb, Marion County Republican Party Chairman Kyle Walker, and Minority Leader for the City-County Council Republican caucus Michael McQuillen.
“We are very fortunate to have Jose join our party,” declared Holcomb. “The message of the Indiana Republican Party is one of inclusion, and our record is one of results. Jose’s leadership will be critical as we broaden our base, build our economy, and give our children the best education possible.”
“Jose is a perfect fit for the Marion County Republican Party,” added Walker. “His is a strong voice on issues ranging from public safety to creating jobs to neighborhood revitalization. He is a tremendous addition to our party’s leadership.”
“While we’ve certainly not always agreed on the issues, I’ve always considered Councillor Evans a thoughtful colleague,” said McQuillen. “Republicans and Republican leaders are working hard to improve our city and our citizens’ lives at every level, and Jose’s decision to join our caucus shows he values performance over politics.”As a result of redistricting, Evans was thrown into the same district as Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield, which had raised questions about which of the two councilors Democrats would slate to run in the 2015 election. Democrats have filed suit challenging the Republican-drawn council maps, and a panel of Marion County judges has been appointed to hear that challenge. Evans' switch will shift the balance from 16-13 Democrat control to 15-14 Democrat control. Evans has generally voted consistently with the Democratic Party in the past on any issues that seem to divide the council along party lines. Evans has in the past served in the Democratic administrations of former Mayor Bart Peterson and the late Gov. Frank O'Bannon.
UPDATE: Apparently someone got ahead of themselves by posting the press release on the Marion Co. GOP's website in advance of this morning's press conference. The party has pulled the release from its website. I can confirm that a press advisory went out last night announcing a big press announcement this morning with an unnamed city council member. It read:
Eric Holcomb, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and Kyle Walker, chairman of the Marion County Republican Party will hold a news conference at the Indianapolis City Market on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
A member of the Indianapolis City-County Council will join them to make a major announcement.
Chairmen Holcomb and Walker will discuss opportunities for minorities within the Republican Party.