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Update: Just in at 11:28 a.m. from Council President Maggie Lewis:
Media Statement from President Maggie A. Lewis, Indianapolis City-County Council
Indianapolis - "Today, Councillor Jose Evans announced his decision to leave the Democratic party. We thank him for his service and wish him well in his endeavors."
Editor's Note: The news desk received the following news release at 9:45 a.m. this morning, March 5:
Indianapolis City-County Councillor Jose Evans Joins the Republican Party
Twice-elected as a Democrat, Evans cites "accomplishments and philosophy"
of the GOP as the main reasons for changing parties
Indianapolis, IND (March 5, 2013) - City-County Councillor Jose Evans announced today that he is becoming a member of the Republican Party.
Evans, 40, who was elected as a City-County Councillor from District One in both 2007 and 2011, stated he would caucus with the Republican councillors.
"This is not a decision made in haste or without considerable thought," said Evans at a morning news conference. "When looking around my district, our city, and this state, however, it is clear that Republican policies and Republican leadership are getting things done, and I want to be a part of a Party that is focused on progress."
Joining Councillor Evans at today's news conference were Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb, Marion County Republican Party Chairman Kyle Walker, and Minority Leader for the City-County Council Republican caucus Michael McQuillen.
"We are very fortunate to have Jose join our party," declared Holcomb. "The message of the Indiana Republican Party is one of inclusion, and our record is one of results. Jose's leadership will be critical as we broaden our base, build our economy, and give our children the best education possible."
"Jose is a perfect fit for the Marion County Republican Party," added Walker. "His is a strong voice on issues ranging from public safety to creating jobs to neighborhood revitalization. He is a tremendous addition to our party's leadership."
"While we've certainly not always agreed on the issues, I've always considered Councillor Evans a thoughtful colleague," said McQuillen.
"Republicans and Republican leaders are working hard to improve our city and our citizens' lives at every level, and Jose's decision to join our caucus shows he values performance over politics."
About City-County Councillor Jose Evans
A resident of Indianapolis since the age of one, Evans grew up in Haughville, raised by a single mother. He received both an athletic and academic scholarship to Cathedral High School and the University of Indianapolis. He also earned a Master's of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. Jose also served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males under Governor Frank O'Bannon and Director of Minority and Women Business Enterprises for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Bart Peterson
Jose Evans and his wife Tara live in Pike Township and have three children: Malcolm, 21, Tayshaun, 10, and Landon, 2.