- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Sen. Carlyle Begay has switched parties and is now a Republican.

The senator from the Navajo Nation town of Ganado was appointed in 2013 to fill a vacancy and was elected the next year.

Begay said he switched parties because the Republican platform more closely aligns with his beliefs. He said one example is the party’s emphasis on self-reliance.

Begay represents District 7, which covers the Navajo Nation and areas south to Show Low.

There have been suspicions about Begay’s loyalty to the Democratic party since he was appointed. Begay was the only Democrat to vote for the Republican budget during this year’s session.

Arizona Democratic Party chair Alexis Tameron said nobody was surprised by the move.

Republicans now have an 18-12 majority in the Senate. They also control the House.

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