- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

GREENVILLE, Ala. (AP) - State Rep. Charles Newton of Greenville is switching to the Republican Party.

Newton announced the move Friday.

Newton issued a statement saying he believes the switch from the Democratic Party will allow him to best serve his constituents. His district includes Butler, Crenshaw and Conecuh counties.

He has served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat since 1989. Newton is a member of the House Ways and Means-General Fund Committee and is a former member of the Greenville City Council.

House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, says he believes Democrats can win back the District 90 seat in this year’s legislative elections.

Newton’s brother, Bill Newton, is the acting state finance director in Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s administration.