John Jay Lee

Mayor of North Las Vegas John Jay Lee speaks at a viewing of local Girl Scout Tahoe Mack's Monumental Mammoth structure at XL Steel in Las Vegas, Thursday, March 21, 2019. Lee announced Tuesday that he is leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican, citing a shift toward socialism.

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee has announced that he is switching his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican, citing a shift toward socialism.

The mayor of Nevada’s third-largest city made the announcement Tuesday on “Fox and Friends.” His campaign website now reflects the switch, KVVU-TV reported.

“In the Democratic Party of Nevada, they had an election recently for leadership, and four of the five people were card-carrying members of the socialistic (sic) party,” Lee said. “It’s not the party that I grew up with 25 years ago in this environment, and it’s not the party that I can stand with anymore.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Lee was referring to recent elections for the leadership of the Nevada State Democratic Party, in which a slate of candidates affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America were elected to most of the party’s top leadership spots.

Lee has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor of Nevada in 2022, the Review-Journal reported. He told the newspaper last week that he had been “approached by different people in both parties” to consider switching to the Republican Party and running as a moderate.

Lee didn’t indicate in the “Fox and Friends” interview whether he intended to run for governor.

Lee, who served in the Nevada Assembly and state Senate, was defeated by a Democrat, Patricia Spearman, in 2012. He won election as mayor the following year.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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