Assemblyman Fred Thiele is switching his party affiliation from Republican to Independent.
Thiele, who represents the Hamptons on eastern Long Island, says in a statement released Thursday that he’s always thought of himself as an independent politician. He noted he ran as an independent when he was elected Southampton Town Supervisor in 1991. Thiele was elected to the state Assembly in 1995 as a Republican.
He says the state Independence Party represents the best chance to enact critical state government reforms. He also criticized his Republican colleagues, saying the party in the Assembly “stood for nothing.”
Independence Party Chief Frank MacKay says his party is honored to have Thiele among their ranks.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.