There were cheers from supporters as Judge Carlo Key emerged from the Bexar County Courthouse with Democratic members of Congress and legislators from the Texas House and Senate.
Key said his decision to jump change parties under his beliefs that justice should be served without prejudice towards race, color, creed or whom they choose to love.
"I cannot tolerate a political party in which hate speech elevates a candidate to higher office rather than disqualifying them," Key said. "I cannot be a member of party that is proud to destroy the financial lives of hundreds of thousands of federal employees in a vain attempt to repeal a law that provides health care to millions of Americans across the country."
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said he believes more Republican candidates are likely to jump ship.
"I think they’re having a really difficult time so more and more republicans like Judge Key are coming to the Democratic Party, coming to the conclusion that the Democratic Party represents what’s important to them and the issues that have caused them to go into public service," Hinojosa said.
Upon hearing a member of his own party would leave ranks, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said he believes the move is a mistake.
"In the years that I have been speaker we’ve had just the opposite occur," Strauss said. "We’ve had several former Democrats become Republicans and that’s a tide I’d to see continue and I’d try to encourage it. But everybody has to make a decision on their own."
Key was elected in the Republican-dominated 2010 mid-term elections.