One of the veteran Democrats in the Alabama House, Rep. Richard Laird of Roanoke, has announced he's becoming an independent.
Laird said Monday the Democratic Party today is much different than it was when he was first elected to the House in 1978. He said the party has lost its conservative core.
Laird said he will meet with the Republican caucus in the House, even though he's not joining the House's majority party.
Another Democrat in the Alabama Legislature has switched to the Republican Party.
Sen. Jerry Fielding of Talladega County announced Thursday that he's joining the Republican Party. His switch gives the Senate 23 Republicans, 11 Democrats and one independent.