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Thursday, November 17, 2005 

Orange Country Florida NAACP Leader Switchs to Republican

(Orlando Sentinel) For decades, Republicans have struggled to reach out to black Americans. But now in Orange County, the GOP has to reach no further than the NAACP. As of this week, Derrick Wallace, head of Orange County's NAACP, has switched parties -- to become a Republican."I've thought about this for two years," Wallace said Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after returning from the elections office. "This is not a decision I made yesterday."It is, however, a decision that rang out like a shot among political circles. Republican Party leader Lew Oliver described himself as "extraordinarily pleased," while Democratic leader Tim Shea said he was disappointed.

Just as importantly, he said, he didn't want people to immediately brand -- or dismiss -- NAACP concerns as synonymous with those of liberal Democrats. "I want this branch to be respected," he said. "It's purely a business decision. Ninety percent of those I do business with are Republicans," he said. "Opportunities that have come to my firm have been brought by Republicans."

How long do you think it will be before black leaders and Democratic politicians begin taking pot-shots at him and trying to discredit him? Apperently not too long. In response to Wallace’s announcement, Tim Shea said "I'm a little confused. Are we talking about the National Association for the Advancement of Construction Professionals -- or Colored People?"

I think what Tim is confused about is a black leader seeing that opportunity and assistance have been coming from one party, while the other that claims to represent black people only works for their vote. Or maybe he is confused as to why Republicans are the party that have appointed the highest ranking black officials to ever hold office, while black Democrats call them all an “Uncle Tom”.