Anaheim Council Candidate Leaves GOP as Election Nears

November 2, 2006

Author: Dave McKibben

Source: Los Angeles Times,0,2674427.story

Acknowledging it might be political suicide, Anaheim City Council candidate Bill Dalati said Wednesday he was leaving the Republican Party after being vilified by prominent GOP leaders as being anti-American and a supporter of extremist groups.

Dalati, an Arab American who had been a Republican since becoming a U.S. citizen 19 years ago, re-registered as a Democrat outside the registrar of voters office.

Even though the council race is nonpartisan, Dalati said he no longer felt comfortable being a Republican.

"This is going to hurt me politically," said Dalati, an insurance agent taking his first run at elective office. "There are a lot more Republicans in Orange County than Democrats. But it wouldn't have been the honest thing to do, to stay in a party that has abandoned me."