State Rep. Dixie Allen switched her registration to the Republican Party and will screen Saturday as a prospective candidate for the open county commission seat vacated in June by Vickie Pegg.
Montgomery County GOP Chairman John White said he's thrilled with Rep. Allen's decision to join the Republican Party. Rep. Allen will meet with the screening committee Saturday, and the screening committee will in turn make a recommendation to the central committee at a meeting on July 24.
"Dixie Allen has always been a person of great integrity and commitment to her ideals," said White. "Her dedication to her constituents and her values are well known. We welcome her to the Republican Party."
Rep. Allen said the decision to change parties was not an easy one. "This is something I've struggled with for several years," said Allen. "I know this move won't shock anyone who knows me. But I'm very comfortable reaching this decision at this point in my life and career." Allen said she would be supporting Ken Blackwell and other Republicans on the ticket in November.
"As everyone knows, I have found myself increasingly aligned with the Republican Party on various issues in recent years," said Allen. "By becoming a Republican, I am merely formalizing what my actions and votes have been demonstrating for quite a while, to me and to others. In fact, I feel that I am doing both parties a favor with this move -- Democrat leaders in the Legislature have been increasingly concerned about my votes and positions."
Allen cited her support of issues like Gov. Taft's Third Frontier initiative, cutting business taxes, banning gay marriage, and supporting school choice as examples where she has felt more in tune with the GOP than the Democrats.
Rep. Allen added, "If you had asked me nine years ago what my politics were, I would have said I was a died-in-the-wool liberal Democrat. But as time went by, I realized that was not the case."
Allen said that if chosen to serve on the county commission, she will continue pursuing progress on the issues that have become her passion.
"I will continue to fight for jobs, economic development and education -- three issues that in reality are all parts of the same equation," she said. "And I'm excited about the chance to have a major impact on those issues at the local government level, because, as Lincoln said, the best government is government closest to the people."
County Commissioner Chuck Curran also welcomed Rep. Allen into the GOP, noting, "I've known Dixie Allen for many years, and I can relate to the personal decision-making process she has been going through. She's an outstanding public servant and a warm, caring human being. She shares my belief that regardless of political party affiliation, it's the hardworking families of Montgomery County who must always come first when it comes to local government."
Dixie Allen retired from a career in the United States Air Force in 1993, and then joined the Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority. She was appointed to the Ohio House of Representatives and was subsequently reelected to that post in four consecutive elections.
Dixie's husband, Jimmy, is the longtime owner and operator of a painting and decorating service. They are the parents of two sons and four grandchildren.