House Democrats were celebratory earlier this month when they picked up seven seats in the House. But that celebration is turning out to be a bit short-lived. Rep. Will Kendrick of Carrabelle will announce today that he is switching ranks to the Republican Party. Kendrick's decision comes at an interesting time: He is barred from running again by term limits and had just won re-election when he failed to draw an opponent.
The defection also means that Republicans are just one vote shy from having a two-thirds majority again _ the margin needed in many extraordinary votes taken by the Legislature. The breakdown will now be Republicans 79 and Democrats 41. Rep. Dan Gelber, the Miami Beach Democrat and incoming House Democratic Leader, was not happy about the defection: "Some people are more opportunistic than others,'' he said.